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Police: If you don't want your car stolen, lock it and don't leave keys inside

By Dan Miller

danmiller@pressandjournal.com

717-944-4628
Posted 2/4/19

Don’t leave your car unlocked, and be more careful about leaving a spare key inside, Middletown police are telling residents following a rash of stolen vehicles in the borough.

Each theft …

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Police: If you don't want your car stolen, lock it and don't leave keys inside

Posted

Don’t leave your car unlocked, and be more careful about leaving a spare key inside, Middletown police are telling residents following a rash of stolen vehicles in the borough.

Each theft appears to involve vehicles that were left unlocked — with a spare key left inside that was found by the thief, according to police.

Three vehicle thefts have been reported to police in the past month — including two in just one week from Jan. 19 to Jan. 26, according to police dispatch records.

In the case of the two most recent thefts, both vehicles were later recovered in Harrisburg by police.

In the earliest reported theft, a 2010 maroon Hyundai Sonata stolen from a Pineford resident on Jan. 3 was recovered later the same day in west Philadelphia by city police.

City police charged the driver, Marquis Honay of Upper Darby, with receiving stolen property and unauthorized use of a motor vehicle. He is awaiting a Feb. 12 preliminary hearing, according to online Philadelphia court records.

No one has been charged in the two more recent thefts in which the stolen vehicles were recovered in Harrisburg, according to Middletown police.

On Saturday, Jan. 26, a white 2008 Hyundai Veracruz was reported stolen from a residence in the 600 block of Cedar Avenue, according to police dispatch records.

The owner told police he believes the vehicle was stolen between 9 p.m. Friday, Jan. 25, and 4:30 a.m. Ja. 26, when it was discovered missing. The owner recalled hearing his dogs barking at about 1 a.m.

The vehicle was recovered by Harrisburg police on Tuesday, Jan. 29, at Linn and Briggs streets. No one was in the vehicle, and the case was turned over to Middletown detectives to investigate.

On Jan. 19 shortly after 6:30 a.m., a 2007 white GMC Sierra was reported stolen from the 300 block of Aspen Street. The vehicle had been parked on the street in front of the residence, police said.

At 7:07 p.m. the same night, Middletown police were informed by Harrisburg police that the vehicle had been recovered at Primrose and 19th streets.

City police had pulled the vehicle over for a traffic stop. There was a “brief foot chase” but Harrisburg police did not catch anyone.

In each of the thefts, it appears the stolen vehicles were “unsecured,” and that the thief was aided by the victim having left a spare key in their vehicle, according to information police posted on the Crimewatch site Feb. 1.

Police are asking that citizens “be more diligent in securing the vehicles” and “avoid leaving keys inside the vehicle.”

The post says nearly 50 percent of stolen cars in Pennsylvania were left unlocked by their owners, according to the Pennsylvania Auto Theft Authority.

Nearly 14,000 people had their vehicles stolen in Pennsylvania in 2018, according to the Crimewatch post.