St. Joseph Police Warn of Increased Auto Thefts

St. Joseph Police Warn of Increased Auto Thefts

Investigators with the St. Joseph Police Department say they've seen a string of break-ins and auto thefts since the end of last year. While there's no clear pattern in the crimes, they say there are ways to avoid being a target.

(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) A high speed chase down King Hill Avenue on Sunday isn't typical in St. Joseph. But, scenes like it are becoming more common for the St. Joseph Police Department.

In recent weeks, these pursuits have happened all over town, as police try to nab a twosome they believe are responsible for stealing multiple cars.

"It appears to be one or two different people who are making a practice of stealing cars," said Cmdr. Jim Connors with the St. Joseph Police Department. "When they are found by police they run in a high speed dangerous fashion."

Cmdr. Connors says three cars were stolen last week: two on Jan. 23 and another on Jan. 29.

According to SJPD logs, there were two more attempted thefts on Jan. 22, another on Jan. 24 and one two weeks ago on Jan. 19 where a woman called after getting in her car and discovering her steering column had been torn apart.

"There doesn't seem to be any reason," Cmdr. Connors said of the thefts. "It is not like a chop shop or anything like that. They seem to be taking them for convenience."

While the thefts are happening all over St. Joseph, there is a pattern. The cars are stolen and then turn up not far from where another is reported missing.

"They dump the car, they steal another," Cmdr. Connors said "Then they drive it until they get caught."

On top of the thefts, car break-ins are on the rise. Most of the larcenies are reported near the areas where the cars are taken.

Cmdr. Connors said it's important to be smart about your car.

"In this day and this age, take your keys and lock your car," he said.

The police department has had several calls about seeing two men breaking into cars around town, but when they go after the pair, it often becomes a dangerous pursuit.

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