Car thefts rise sharply

By Wayne Gates – 

A rash of car thefts has hit Brown County over the past couple of months.
“All across the county, we have had ten stolen vehicles reported in two months,” said Brown County Sheriff’s Office Detective Chad Noble.
“This is the worst I’ve seen in ten years.  In a two month span, we’ve never had this number of vehicles stolen.”
Noble said that the ten vehicles are only the ones being investigated by the sheriff’s department. A number of other thefts are being investigated by local municipalities and  neighboring counties.”
Noble said many of the thefts have a common theme.
“It’s mostly drug addicts breaking into people’s vehicles looking for something to steal.  They will steal the vehicle itself if given the opportunity.”
Noble said that car owners are making it easier for the thieves by leaving their keys inside the car and the car unlocked.
“We are asking citizens to be more aware, remove all spare keys from inside the vehicles and keep them inside the house,” Noble said.
He also said that at least one vehicle was stolen as it sat idling to warm up during the cold weather.
“That can happen this time of year.  We just want people to make people aware that they could be putting their property at risk.”
Noble said that times appear to be changing in Brown County.
“The drug problem that has hit our county has brought a different kind of criminal than we may be used to.  Gone are the days when criminals are afraid to go into a vehicle or a house.”
When asked what residents should do if they find that thier car is missing, he said “If they discover that their car is gone, immediately call 911 and report it.  They need to make sure that they know their plate number, model year, type of vehicle, things like that.  Every bit of information they can give us is helpful.”