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CR Car Theft Spike

Updated: Saturday, August 3 2013, 01:14 PM CDT
CEDAR RAPIDS, IA (CBS 2/FOX 28) -- “I keep my keys in the ignition so I don't lose them.”

“I leave it unlocked with the keys in it so I can change clothes faster.”

“I keep my spare keys in the car in case I lock myself out.”

Police say they are the common explanations for an increasingly common issue. Some don't see them as explanations at all.

“I think they're pretty funny actually, I think they're just excuses,” resident Sean Foust said.

Sgt. Cristy Hamblin with the Cedar Rapids Police Department says unfortunately the numbers this year for car thefts are pointing up. In 2011, through the month of July, the city saw 102 stolen cars. In 2012 they saw 132. So far in 2013 there have been 145 thefts, with the most recent theft occurring on Tuesday.

“For quite a while we were getting better at securing our property, and I think we're just feeling complacent,” Hamblin said.

In a neighborhood near one of the thefts, resident Jena Fuessley says much of that complacency lies in the way many in Iowa were raised.

“Everybody knew everybody, and everybody could trust their neighbor,” Fuessley said.

However, she says changing times call for a change in old habits.

“I don't believe that it's that hard to keep your keys in a bowl or something in your house,” Fuessley said.

Even in this normally quiet neighborhood, others agree.

“Take their keys with them, just like their wallet or ID, they should always have it with them,” Foust said.

Police say if you want to have a spare key don’t keep it in your car or under your car. They say thieves are increasingly more aware of those hiding spots.

Police says there is good news. Out of the 145 cars that have been stolen this year, 87% have been recovered. However, 17 are still missing. CR Car Theft Spike

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