BELOIT, Wis. (WTVO) — For the second time, Beloit police warn of a recent rash of car thefts. The department says three took place just Wednesday night. This comes as a certain car brand is being sought out by criminals.
“Recently in the city of Beloit, we’ve been discovering a rash of vehicle thefts in the overnight hours,” according to Eric Schoonover, a detective with the Beloit Police Department.
Beloit police warned the public of the same type of car thefts back in June. Lately, the department has been seeing an uptick in car thefts and thieves are going after a particular make.
Schoonover says, “These vehicle thefts are specifically targeting 2015-2021 Kia and Hyundai vehicles. These vehicles have an easier access to the steering column and the ignition, the internal mechanisms which allow the thieves to start the vehicle without a key or any alarms going off.”
Once thieves are in possession of the vehicle, the crimes usually continue.
“A lot of times after these vehicles are stolen the thieves are using them to commit other crimes, sometimes violent crimes such as shootings, and a lot of reckless driving,” says Schoonover.
It’s happening so often, some cities around the country are even asking the company to come up with a fix.
“It’s just not a Beloit problem, we’re recovering vehicles from other jurisdictions and they’re recovering some of ours. We’ve also been informed it’s a regional problem, across the state, and the country,” Schoonover explains.
Officials say there’s a few things you can do to reduce the chances of becoming a victim.
Schoonover adds, “We’re suggesting that you for sure lock your vehicle. If you can park it in a garage, please do so. Do not leave valuable items inside your vehicle. And if you can’t park it in a garage, if you have another vehicle to block the vehicle in the driveway, that would be a better option as well.”
Police ask if you see anything suspicious in your neighborhood, like people looking into cars, call the nonemergency number. Unless it’s an active situation, then call 911.