Chicago streets are facing a surge in car thefts, with the 9th District, particularly hit hard this month. Officials are now broadcasting a community alert after a string of motor vehicle thefts rocked residents of Deering.
The crimes have been clumped in incidents where owners parked their vehicles only to find them gone within a day, the Chicago Police Department reports. Stringing together these cases, the location and time of incidents included the 3300 Block of South Oakley Avenue, Feb. 02 at 12:10 AM; the 3200 Block of South Archer Avenue, Feb. 03 at 10:00 PM; 3300 Block of South Leavitt Street between Feb. 08-09; another hit on South Oakley Avenue between Feb. 09-10, and the 3300 Block of South Bell Avenue on Feb. 10 between 2:30 AM and 2:35 AM.
Details on the offenders are slim, eluding clear identification at this stage. The Chicago Police urge community members to take proactive measures to prevent being victimized. These include not leaving keys in unattended vehicles, reporting suspicious activities immediately, and securing windows and doors. Raising awareness amongst neighbors and keeping an eye out for loiterers is also advised.
An interesting note in these trying times, Kia and Hyundai owners have the option to pick up anti-theft steering wheel locks from local CAPS offices, and city residents can obtain a unique, traceable marking for their vehicle's catalytic converter. Additionally, folks taking the extra step to install a GPS tracking device in their car can get reimbursement by registering with the city. The instruction clearly states: "Do not leave your keys in your vehicle or your vehicle running unattended."
If anyone has information about the crimes or spots anything out of the ordinary, they are encouraged to call 911 with descriptive details of any suspect or vehicle involved.