Ferndale has seen an increase in larcenies from automobiles over the last several weeks. Some vehicles also have been stolen during this time, with one, seen here, set on fire after it was taken.

Ferndale has seen an increase in larcenies from automobiles over the last several weeks. Some vehicles also have been stolen during this time, with one, seen here, set on fire after it was taken.

Photo provided by Baron Brown


Ferndale sees ‘drastic’ increase in larcenies from automobiles

By: Mike Koury | Woodward Talk | Published September 20, 2019

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Every car in every driveway in front of every house needs to be locked.

Baron Brown, Ferndale police sergeant

FERNDALE — The Ferndale Police Department is advising residents to double-check the locks on their vehicles as the city is being hit with a high number of larcenies from automobiles.

According to Ferndale Police Sgt. Baron Brown, the department has seen a drastic uptick in larcenies from automobiles over the past couple of weeks. Brown has seen in excess of 60 during that time, which he said is about five times as many as usual.

“We may have three or four or five a week versus these huge numbers for the last couple weeks,” he said.

In every instance, Brown said, the vehicles in the 60-plus cases were unlocked. Because of this, word has spread that automobiles in Ferndale are ripe for the picking and what’s happening now is “absolutely a concerted effort” by a group of thieves.

“There’s no way it can be a coincidence that this is happening just randomly,” Brown said. 

Noting that it has nothing to do with victim-blaming, he continued to say, “If I’m going to go deer hunting, I’m going to go where I know the deer are, and I think that’s what’s happened. I think that for whatever reason, in whatever fashion, the word has spread among certain groups of people that our neighbors are, for whatever reason, leaving their cars unlocked at a much higher rate than other communities.”

Brown noted that other cities in the surrounding areas aren’t seeing the same numbers of larcenies from automobiles as Ferndale.

Five vehicles also have been stolen during this time, with three of them happening because key fobs were left in unlocked automobiles.

In one instance, a vehicle that was stolen around 9:30 a.m. Sept. 16 was later found in Detroit on fire. Brown said police were able to track the stolen car using vehicle software, but it took off at a high rate of speed and they weren’t going to endanger the public with a chase. It was found minutes later engulfed in flames.

“One of our residents — one of our community members — lost their car, lost a bunch of clothes that was their children’s clothes and their clothes, and now are in a hole,” he said. 

Brown explained the department is doing everything it can at the moment to respond to these thefts, including changing patrol routes and using different techniques and tactics to catch the criminals.

“The reality is you have a small number of people looking for one or two or three people that are out on foot and can easily hide behind a bush when they see headlights coming down the street, or when they hear a car coming down the street,” he said. “It’s easy to evade somebody when you have those odds stacked against you like that.”

Brown is hoping residents will heed his words and lock up their vehicles. 

“Every car in every driveway in front of every house needs to be locked,” he said.

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