TWINSBURG, Ohio — Twinsburg Police Chief Christopher Noga released a statement on Facebook after his city was one of many suburbs in the Greater Cleveland area to experience a rash of car thefts. In his letter, Noga included these words from a 17-year-old who is allegedly part of a group that steals unlocked vehicles: “It’s just that those people out there are stupid because they leave their keys in there.”
Noga said Twinsburg and surrounding communities need to come together to prevent opportunities for these thefts to happen. He wrote: “Complacency is creating opportunity, and the word has spread to the victimizers – the suburbs are vulnerable and ripe for the picking. They are laughing at us. They know that they have found a deep, deep goldmine for their criminal activities. They know that because most of the members of these crew are juveniles, the consequences of an arrest are minor at best. They will continue to steal until there is no more opportunities for them."
He said the group drives around neighborhoods looking for unlocked cars, oftentimes with the keys and the garage door opener to the home inside the car.
Noga said the arrested 17-year-old told police that he and his crew are not deterred by floodlights, motion-activated lights, fences, dogs or security cameras.
"They do not break into locked vehicles since there are so many unlocked vehicles to choose from," Noga wrote.
He said residents can take the following steps to prevent being the next victim of car theft.
1. Lock your vehicle doors (even when parked in your garage but especially when parked in your driveway)
2. Remove your keys/key fob from your vehicle.
3. Do not leave a spare key near your vehicle.
4. Close your vehicle windows when parked.
5. Secure your garage door opener in your locked glove box when your vehicle is parked.
6. Never leave valuables in your vehicle, especially if they can be seen from outside the vehicle. If you have to leave valuables in your vehicle, secure them in the glove box or trunk.
7. If your vehicle is so equipped, always engage your car alarm/anti-theft system when parked (even when parked in the garage).
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