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As people have been staying home under lockdown during the coronavirus pandemic, car thefts have spiked as their vehicles have been sitting largely unused and unattended on streets. Make sure you are not leaving any valuables in your vehicle that would tempt a thief.

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According to, vehicle thefts went up 63 percent in New York and nearly 17 percent in Los Angeles from January 1st through mid-May compared to the same period last year. Law enforcement agencies across the U.S. are reporting an increase in stolen vehicles as well as burglaries.

It’s a low-risk crime with a potentially high reward, police say, especially when many drivers leave their doors unlocked or their keys inside. These spikes come at the same time as violent crime has dropped dramatically across the U.S. during the pandemic.

Austin Police Sgt. Chris Vetrano, said, the virus has created a “perfect storm”, the elements for that storm: Drivers are at home and not using or checking their cars regularly. School’s out, so teenagers are trying their luck. Criminals are out of work and have more time on their hands or need fast money to support a drug habit.

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