Cedar Rapids (KWWL) -- The Cedar Rapids Police Department reported an approximately 50 percent increase in the number of motor vehicle thefts this year, compared to the average number over the last five years.
Through September 22, authorities said there have been 403 motor vehicle thefts.
The average number of car thefts for the last five years, from January 1 to September 22, has been 270.
The police department also reported a 6.5 percent increase in the number of thefts from cars, compared to the five-year average.
From January 1 to September 22, there have been 537 reported incidents; the five-year average is 505.
Based on crime reports, authorities said up to 60 percent of the cars stolen in Cedar Rapids were left unattended with keys inside or were running.
They said the majority of thefts from cars involved ones that were left unlocked.
The police department has a list of tips to help avoid thefts:
- Always lock your vehicle (even when you are driving)
- When parked, leave all windows, including the sunroof, closed
- Park in well-lit areas
- Never leave your vehicle unattended if its running
- Consider adding a vehicle alarm system
- Be alert of your surroundings and the people near your vehicle
For more information on ways to prevent car thefts, visit the Cedar Rapids Police Department Facebook page.