MANSFIELD -- Car theft has gone up 108 percent in Mansfield year over year, according to police.
From Jan. 1 to June 10, there were 52 reported stolen cars in the city, compared to 25 during the same period in 2018, according to Capt. Shari Robertson.
"Although, the vehicle thefts occurred throughout the city, a majority of them (over 51 percent) occurred in the south ends of the city (south of Park Avenue West)," Robertson said.
"The majority of the thefts (65.8 percent) occurred Mondays through Thursdays and were reported between the hours of midnight to 3 p.m. In over 21 percent of the thefts, the owner/driver had left the keys in the vehicle.
"In 10 percent of the thefts, a friend and/or acquaintance had taken the vehicle keys without the owner’s permission and had unknowingly to the victim, left with the vehicle," Robertson said.
Police advised residents to never leave keys in the ignition of a vehicle, the glove box, and/or the center console as these are often the first place the thieves will check.
Also, keep keys and other valuable personal items out of sight or in a place not easily accessible to visitors to your home, to help to discourage these types of crimes of opportunity.
"Also, remember to lock your vehicle whenever possible to make access to the inside more difficult for potential thieves. Keep garage doors closed and secured and please report any suspicious individuals and/or activity in your neighborhood," Robertson said.