VENTURA, Calif. -- Ventura Police Department saw an increase in car thefts in the City of Ventura.
Police say from March 15 to March 30, the City of Ventura experienced a 200% increase in stolen vehicles compared to the first two weeks of March.
Ventura Police officers took a total of 20 stolen vehicle reports in the month of March.
Most of the reported incidents involved victims who left keys inside unlocked vehicles.
Police say the vehicle theft happened predominately after dark between the hours of 7 p.m. and 3 a.m.
They said many of the targeted vehicles were left unlocked with keys inside.
The Ventura Police Department wants to remind residents that unlocked vehicles represent an attractive target and thieves are known to regularly pull car handles to check for unlocked vehicles as they walk down a street.
Police gave the following prevention tips to help residents prevent car thefts:
- Never leave your vehicle running or the keys in the ignition when you’re away from it, even for “just a minute.”
- Never leave a spare key in your vehicle or hidden on your vehicle. Surfers, be sure to take your keys with you!
- Always roll up the windows and lock the car, even if it’s parked right in front of your home.
- Never leave valuables in plain view, even if your car is locked. Put them in the trunk or remove them completely.
- Make it a priority to park in busy, well-lighted areas.
Anyone that is a victim of car theft is encouraged to call the Ventura Poilie 24/7 non-emergency line at 805-650-8010.