Shawnee County car thefts spike in early May

TOPEKA (KSNT) – The Shawnee County Sheriff’s office is offering some advice that could save you thousands of dollars – lock your door.

In just one week there have been a series of car thefts in the county, thefts deputies say could have been avoided.

The next time you hop out of your vehicle, local law enforcement offers the following advice – “Make sure that they’re rolling their windows up and locking their doors,” says Sgt. Todd Stallbaumer of the Shawnee County Sheriff’s Office.

In the last week, Topeka police have reported four car thefts in just three days.

“As the weather warms up and school is letting out,” says Stallbaumer “we are seeing an increase in burglaries to vehicles around the county.”

And he wants you to take those steps because it doesn’t take keys to steal a car.

“In the right cars with the right equipment, they’re gone,” says Mark Quintana of Shorey Automotive.

He’s talking about hot-wiring vehicles.

“If you understand the system and the way they work,” says Quintana, “the way the switches work, I’ve seen cars where you pull the switch out and you just turn it with a screwdriver. I mean there’s some that are just very easy to get into.”

But just how easy would it be for someone to hotwire your car?

“They can be in the car and down he road in 30-seconds,” says Quintana.

A scary statistic if you’re someone who doesn’t park your car in a garage.

Older cars are easier to steal than newer ones, so experts suggest you park the older car closest to your house or in your garage if you have one.

The best advice? Never leave your keys in your car – and of course “lock your car”.

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