Car thieves have not had to try too hard in Wilmette over the past few days.
Four unlocked cars were stolen in a matter of five days in Wilmette, causing the Wilmette Police Department to issue two crime alerts over the past week.
Each of the four cars had the keys or the key fob inside the vehicle, according to information from Wilmette police.
Wilmette police, and many suburban police forces, have run awareness campaigns in an attempt to remind residents to lock their cars, as well as their garages and homes. The Wilmette campaign is called “Lock It or Lose it.”
Wilmette Police Cmdr. Michael Robinson said these crimes can be “cyclical in nature.”
“Once some success happens it tends to accelerate because word gets out that these cars are left unlocked with keys in them,” he said. “It’s such a preventable crime, just by locking your car and not leaving they keys.”
Police said in the alert that three unlocked cars were taken overnight Sept. 5-6. One of the cars was located in the 600 block of Forest Avenue, while two others were taken from driveways on Greenwood Avenue, in the 1900 and 2000 blocks, respectively.
Just four nights earlier, overnight Sept. 2-3, seven unlocked cars parked in Wilmette were burglarized, as previously reported by The Record.
One of the cars was stolen, and reportedly, the spare key was in the glove box, according to police. A wallet and credit cards were taken from another car and no items were reported missing from the other five.
For the year, car thefts are down drastically in Wilmette this year after a major jump in 2020. Robinson said five vehicles, including the four in the past week, have been reported stolen from Wilmette in 2021.
Nineteen cars were reportedly stolen from Wilmette in 2020, a 170 percent jump over 2019 (7) and more than ’19 and 2018 (9) combined, according to the Wilmette Police Department’s annual report.
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