Lock your doors: Avon Lake police warn residents about rise in car thefts

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AVON LAKE, Ohio (WJW) – A local community has become the latest target of car thieves.

People who live in Legacy Pointe in Avon Lake are worried after a series of attempted car break-ins recently.

“I’m a little concerned that this is going on,” said resident Dana Schnabel.

Schnabel says someone was on her property sometime overnight Sunday.

“I feel like someone tried to get into our home. When I came down the steps, the back sliding door had handprints in this pattern where someone tried to slide the door open, and when I walked out to my car, I noticed some prints at the edge of the frame of my car,” said Schnabel.

It’s a problem Avon Lake Police addressed Wednesday night in a town hall meeting with residents.

“We had more cars stolen in the first month of 2021 than the entire year of 2020,” said Chief Vincent Molnar.

Police said almost 20 cars have been stolen this year. Almost all of them were unlocked with the keys inside.

“We’ve been trying to get the message out about target hardening, doing things to make your vehicle less likely to be stolen,” said Molnar.

Avon Lake Police say the suspects are young and officers have even caught the kids in the act and pursued them. However, when they start driving at 100 miles per hour in a 35 mile per hour zone, police call off the chase.

“We are doing extra patrols at night.100% of these crimes are from 11 pm to 5 am. We put detectives in unmarked vehicles,” said Det. Sgt. Reed Reikowski.

Police say nearly all of the stolen vehicles were recovered in East Cleveland. Still, they are reminding people to lock their doors at night and park in the garage if possible.

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