Amid thefts, police warn residents to lock their vehicles

By: Kara Szymanski | Shelby-Utica News | Published January 24, 2023

 Shelby Township police are reminding residents to take their keys and key fobs with them and to lock up their vehicles.

Shelby Township police are reminding residents to take their keys and key fobs with them and to lock up their vehicles.

Photo provided by Carrie Bennett

SHELBY TOWNSHIP — The Shelby Township Police Department is warning residents to lock up their valuables and vehicles as the department has had many reports of vehicle thefts and vehicle break-ins recently in Shelby Township and nearby areas.

Shelby Township police officer Carrie Bennett said the department has seen the rise in vehicle thefts and vehicle break-ins in connection with the reoccurring issue of vehicles being left unlocked with the keys inside. Bennett said that, in 90% of these crimes, the vehicle has been left unlocked.

“This crime is 100% preventable. We are encouraging people to lock up their vehicles and to not leave valuables in the car. This is a huge problem not only in Shelby Township, but all over Macomb County. Just remember if you leave keys, garage openers, documents in your car, a thief potentially has access to your home and all your personal information. So don’t make yourself a victim and lock up your vehicle,” she said via email.

Sgt. Mark Benedettini, of the Shelby Township Police Department, said investigators have seen a huge uptick in larcenies from autos.

“This is a problem that is occurring all throughout the metro Detroit area. We have caught some suspects stealing from cars, but there are more out there. These suspects usually go to residential neighborhoods in the nighttime hours and walk from car to car trying to find unlocked car doors. They then rummage through the unlocked cars and steal anything of value. We have even seen some cases of people leaving their cars unlocked and even leaving their keys in the car, allowing these suspects to steal their vehicle. (Ninety percent) of these cases can be avoided if people simply locked their car door, and to not leave valuables, such as purses or handbags, inside of your car,” Benedettini said.