Vehicle thefts prompt warning from Champaign police

Vehicle thefts prompt warning from Champaign police

CHAMPAIGN — The Champaign Police Department is investigating several cases of vehicles being stolen from public streets and residential driveways.

Over the past month, the department has taken 11 stolen vehicle reports, five from the University of Illinois campus area.

Some of these burglaries occurred when victims left their keys in the ignition or left the doors unlocked.

The police department reminds vehicle owners to:

— Lock up vehicles and secure all valuables, even if you plan to be gone just a short time like paying for gas or running back inside your home to grab

an item. Thieves have been known to walk down a row of parked vehicles and check for unlocked doors. Once inside, the thief may decide to steal the car.

— Lock your garage and vehicle before going to bed.

— Remove the key from the ignition.

— Do not leave a vehicle on and unattended.

— Never leave windows open or cracked in unattended vehicles.

— Use your alarm or anti-theft device upon exiting your vehicle.

— Do not leave a spare key in or under your car. Thieves know where to look for that spare key.

— Park in a public place with plenty of light.

Victims of stolen vehicles should immediately call 911 to make a report.

Information about the persons responsible for stealing cars can be reported to the Champaign Police Department by calling 217-351-4545, or callers can remain anonymous by calling Crimestoppers at 373-8477 (TIPS). Information can also be sent by anonymous Web tip by going to or by texting keyword "CCTIP" plus the information to 274637 (CRIMES). Crimestoppers will pay up to $1000 for information leading to an arrest.

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