Auto thefts, thefts from autos down in Madison, police chief says

December 15, 2018

Vehicle thefts in Madison were down slightly in November compared to the same month last year, but Police Chief Mike Koval believes thefts might go up as people leave cars running to warm them up in cold weather.

Thefts from vehicles were down significantly in November, but many of the incidents were thefts from unlocked vehicles.

Koval said in his blog that 41 vehicles were stolen in Madison in November compared to 43 in November 2017. For the year, 385 vehicles had been stolen in the first 11 months of 2018, compared to 383 in 2017.

Of the 41 stolen vehicles, 32 had keys inside and 11 had been left unlocked and running. Twenty-eight vehicles have been recovered.

“Now that we are in the season of colder temperatures, consider this our plea that when warming up vehicles, please keep them locked up and monitored,” Koval said.

Koval also advised monitoring how long vehicles have been idling. City rules allow only five minutes of idling.

The Police Department’s North and East districts each had 11 vehicle thefts in November, followed by the West District with seven, the Midtown District with five, the Central District with four and the South District with three.

Thefts from autos had a significant decrease in November compared to the previous November, with 78 reports this year, a 30 percent drop from the 112 last November.

The year-to-date number of 1,103 thefts from autos is 11 percent lower than the four-year average of 1,240.

Koval said force was used in eight thefts from autos in November, and 26 vehicles targeted were unlocked.

“No force was used on 29 vehicles, but it’s unknown how entry was made since the registered owner believed the vehicle was left locked,” Koval said.

The Midtown District had the most thefts from autos in November with 22, followed by 16 in the North District, 13 in the East District, 12 each in the West and Central districts and two in the South District.

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