Columbia Police say thefts from motor vehicles on the rise

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Columbia Police posted on their Facebook Page Friday that thefts from motor vehicles have increased in 2017.

Columbia citizens have had over $332,000 worth of property stolen from motor vehicles to date, and the number continues to increase, according to the Columbia Police Department.

CPD has taken 655 reports of thefts from motor vehicles since Jan. 1, 207 more reports than in 2016.

Ninety-nine reports have included firearms and/or firearm related accessories being stolen. In some reports, more than one firearm was stolen from the vehicle, according to CPD.

These car thefts are illustrated on a map generated from the online Community Crime Map showing that such reports occur all over the city, a majority of which involved unlocked doors.

Columbia police said that valuables left in plain view inside a car can make it more of a target. They advise to remove or hide all valuables, roll up car windows and to always lock car doors. Police also recommended to never leave any kind of valuables in gloveboxes or center consoles.

Police also explain that firearms should not be left inside vehicles overnight and should be stowed away out of sight and secured in a lockbox fixed to the interior of the car.

As officers continue to investigate these crimes they will increase patrols as far as resources allow, according to the Facebook post.

Anyone who sees any suspicious activity or people can report it to the non-emergency line at (573) 442-6131.

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