Increased auto thefts in Bartholomew County

The Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Department says it is seeing an increase in auto thefts.

Sheriff Matt Myers says that there were 41 auto thefts in Bartholomew County in 2015. In 2016, there were 43 cases and so far this year, there have been 11 auto theft cases, says Myers. The Sheriff says this does not include reports made to the Columbus Police Department or the Indiana State Police. Myers says that in eight of the 11 vehicle thefts reported to the Sheriff’s Department so far this year, keys were left in the vehicles.

“Don’t make it easy for thieves to take your vehicle: keep your vehicle locked, never leave your keys in your car, close all windows and don’t forget the sunroof, never leave your car running unattended, do not leave valuables in plain view inside your car, park in a well-lit area, and be aware of your surroundings,” said BCSO Road Commander, Capt. Dave Steinkoenig.

“It isn’t just a matter of losing your vehicle, people keep too many personal things in their vehicles: credit cards, banking information, billing statements, items that enable car thieves to glean enough information to assume your identity”, said Sheriff Myers. He adds that car thieves are also finding ways to gain access to dashboard systems. Police say that these systems, once synced to a smartphone, provides thieves with a repository of sensitive information.