Atlanta police want car owners to be on high alert, as they believe thieves have been targeting certain types of cars in specific neighborhoods.
Someone tried to break into a car parked in front of Matt Cherry's Capitol View home recently, but was unsuccessful. Still, he said, neighborhood watch groups have been keeping track of how many cars have been reported stolen in their neighborhoods.
"It's something like over 80 auto thefts in the past three months within basically the four neighborhoods around this neighborhood," Cherry said.
His next door neighbor, Roberta Caban, is one of those victims.
Her 1997 Saturn was stolen on Christmas Day. Police eventually found her car, which was slightly damaged.
She said she has had a difficult time getting a hold of elected officials to try to put a stop to the trend.
"I can't get a hold of them for anything," Caban said. "I'm wondering how is it that our government services function 9 to 5, Monday through Friday."
Atlanta police officials said the department's auto theft task force is investigating. Police say cars that seem to have been targeted include the Chrysler Town and Country, Dodge Stratus, Dodge R1500, Ford Ranger, and Jeep Cherokee.
Police have the following tips for car owners:
- Never leave vehicle keys in the car while it's unattended.
- Do not leave disabled vehicles on the side of the road.
- Park your vehicle close to your door so you can keep an eye on it.
- Keep an eye out for wreckers that could be illegally towing cars to recycle them. Call 911 if you see one.
- Don't leave valuables in your car.
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