Delta Police Chief Luke Fedler reported on Monday that, during the span of one month from that day, an “alarming” number of auto theft reports had come into the Delta Police Department. According to Fedler, there had been eight car thefts in the City of Delta alone, with four additional car thefts in the rest of the county. These thefts include regular passenger vehicles, ATV side-by-sides, trucks and more.

For this reason, Fedler said he wanted to urge residents of Delta County not to leave their running vehicles unattended. Not only does it make it easy for criminals to steal the vehicle, but it is also a crime, known as “puffing.” Additionally, to prevent criminals from stealing objects from the inside of a vehicle, Fedler asked that everyone keep their vehicles locked — that deters most criminals. Within the same span of a month, they responded to six first degree trespasses of people breaking into cars and stealing items, including guns.

“In almost every case, the cars were unlocked with guns inside, and valuables,” Fedler said. He said that people who lock their cars are much less likely to fall victim to these crimes. “You get noticed if you start breaking windows and tearing doors apart and everything like that, but you don’t get noticed at all if you pull the handle and the door opens.”

Fedler said people tend to blame the police when crimes occur excessively like this, but no police department can prevent auto thefts when people are leaving their cars running or unlocked with the keys in the ignition.

“I just wanted to do a public outreach to say please, lock your cars and take your keys out of the ignition,” Fedler said. “These are all preventable crimes, in most cases.”

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