LAKE COUNTY, Ohio — The Lake County Sheriff’s Office is warning residents to be aware and alert after seeing an increase in stolen vehicles throughout the area.
Deputies issued a safety advisement in September about stolen vehicles becoming more prominent and on Tuesday morning, a Laketran worker was the victim of an attempted carjacking.
Three young males confronted the worker, demanded her car keys and assaulted her, but she was able to get inside the building and the three males fled the scene, deputies said.
On Wednesday night, two males carjacked a vehicle at gunpoint on Greenfield Lane in Painesville, deputies said. The vehicle was later spotted on state Route 2. The men abandoned the vehicle during a pursuit and fled the scene.
One man was apprehended, but the other is still on the run, according to deputies.
Working with other law enforcement agencies across Northeast Ohio, the Lake County Sheriff’s Office said it appears that groups are entering the suburbs to steal vehicles, leaving a transport car and flooding the area looking for open cars with keys inside and in some cases, looking for garage door openers to steal valuables from homes, deputies said.
Residents in Lake County are being urged to leave their vehicles locked at all times, to not leave their keys inside of their vehicles and to never leave their garage door openers easily accessible.
Deputies said that most of the thefts happen when keys are left in vehicles and the thefts often occur during early hours, from 3 a.m. to 7 a.m.
Anyone with information regarding vehicle thefts is asked to contact the Lake County Sheriff’s Office at 440-350-5620 and ask to speak with a Deputy Sheriff.
Car thefts have been increasing not just in Lake County, but in other areas of Northeast Ohio, including Twinsburg and Cleveland.