Police department warns about vehicle thefts, tampering

By: Bridget Jones, Journal Staff Writer
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Auburn Police say the city is getting hit hard with a recent rash of vehicle thefts. The department is asking residents to report suspicious activity and keep vehicles locked after taking multiple reports of vehicle thefts and tampering in less than a month. According to Detective Scott Alford, since the start of January the department has investigated the theft of six vehicles, three of which were late 1980s or early 1990s Toyotas. Alford said there have also been several cases in which catalytic converters were stolen off late 1980s and early 1990s Toyotas. “Vehicle burglary, or theft from parked vehicles, is also an ongoing problem in the city of Auburn,” Alford said in a Tuesday press release. Detective Adam Cline said Tuesday the department currently doesn’t have any suspects for the thefts. “Not at this time, so we are just asking the community to help us out and make sure they report anything,” Cline said. “It goes in waves like this, and usually it’s like a crew of people doing it, or sometimes it’s one or two people. We just want people to be on the look out, because we are getting hit pretty hard right now.” Cline said the thefts are mostly connected to smaller cars and pick-up trucks, so anyone with those types of vehicles should be extra observant. Alford said the department has several tips for residents to avoid becoming victims of similar crimes. “To help combat these types of crimes, we urge the public to report any suspicious activity in their neighborhoods or near their businesses,” he said. “In addition, we recommend citizens lock their vehicles, utilize vehicle security alarms … and suggest you do not leave valuables in plain sight in your vehicles.” Alford said the department is also happy to assist in current Neighborhood Watch programs as well as helping to form new programs. The theft of catalytic converters is happening in local places other than Auburn, Cline said. “We are kind of seeing that as a trend in the area,” he said. “We don’t know if they are related, but that is usually how it is.” Suspicious activity can be reported to the police department by calling (530) 823-4234. Reach Bridget Jones at