Newark police investigating spike in vehicle thefts


Police in Newark are urging drivers to lock their vehicles and secure their keys after a spike in vehicle thefts.

Crime Tracker 10 obtained Newark Police reports which reveal theft victims told investigating officers they left their vehicles running and were gone for "only a minute."

"It doesn't take but a few seconds for somebody to come up, notice that, look around, hop in the driver's seat, put it drive, and drive off," cautions Newark Police Sergeant Clint Eskins.

Reports show between March 1 and May 1, Newark police investigated at least 20 reports of stolen vehicles. CrimeTracker 10 mapped out the crimes and found more than 70 percent of the thefts occurred in the northeast and southwest neighborhoods.

The early morning hours Monday through Wednesday appear to be the most popular time for thieves to strike. No thefts occurred on Thursdays, and police took only one vehicle theft report on a Saturday.

Sgt. Eskins said thieves are looking for crimes of opportunity. As the weather gets warmer, police urge drivers to take the time to roll up windows, lock doors, and take the keys.

Police said it's also important to keep your garage door closed because thieves know many people hang their car keys near the interior garage door for convenience.

Dovenbarger said law enforcement found his truck two days later, and several miles from his home.

"The windshield was busted. The back glass was completely knocked out," said Dovenbarger.

Police said most of the vehicles were recovered, which is another indication thieves were looking for a crime of opportunity.