Eden Prairie Police warn of spike in car thefts, thefts from vehicles

(FOX 9)

Five vehicles were stolen and 18 vehicles had items stolen from them in Eden Prairie in a span of four days, which has Eden Prairie Police issuing a warning to those who live and work in the city. 

The Eden Prairie Police Department on Wednesday, Oct. 19, said in a news release since Sunday, Oct. 16, five vehicles were reported stolen in the city. Police said all the vehicles were parked in a driveway or in an open garage, were unlocked and with keys in the vehicle or nearby the vehicle. 

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During the same time frame, 18 theft from vehicle reports were made in "various locations" throughout Eden Prairie, with police noting in the majority of cases the vehicles were left unlocked.

Similar incidents have been reported across the Twin Cities metro in recent months and years. In the Lake Minnetonka area in late September, police reported multiple thefts from vehicles, including from some vehicles that were left unlocked. Earlier this year, Orono Police warned of an increase in property crime, encouraging residents to lock their doors.

Tips for preventing car thefts

Eden Prairie Police call these incidents "crimes of opportunity," and people can take steps to help prevent similar incidents from happening to them. Those steps, according to police, are: 

  • Do not leave your car unlocked and close all windows, sunroofs and convertible tops.
  • Do not leave valuables in plain view. If you have valuables you need to store in your car, place them in the trunk before reaching your destination. Thieves have been known to look for people placing valuables in trunks who then walk away from their cars.
  • Lock all entrances to your home, including garage service doors, and close overhead garage doors at night. Open and unlocked doors provide quick and easy access to cars, items in garages and homes.
  • Lock all cars left in driveways or on the street overnight. Thieves can use garage door openers found in unlocked cars in driveways to access garages and homes.
  • Do not leave valuables such as purses, wallets, keys and electronics in cars parked in driveways or garages overnight, also consider tucking them away inside your home, rather than leaving them by the door.

Police ask people to be on alert and report any suspicious activity by calling 911 right away.