Vehicles left unlocked in east side suburbs have been targeted for theft in recent months, police in Solon and Chagrin Falls told the Cleveland Jewish News Sept. 16.

“The primary method that they’re using is they’re looking for cars that are left unlocked with the keys in ’em,” Chagrin Falls Police Chief Amber Dacek said. “So, none of the stolen autos we’ve had have been where the car has broken into or hotwired or anything, it’s always they’re specifically looking for easy target cars.”

Dacek said she noticed the pattern early in the year, but more in recent months, and that Chagrin Falls police have been working with other agencies to investigate.

Dacek said nine vehicles have been stolen in the village since March 15 and all have been recovered.

Solon Det. Lt. Jamey Hofmann said there were six autos stolen in the same way and three were recovered in Cleveland. He said he noticed these thefts started in April and that there were more recently.

“It’s all crime of opportunity. People insist because they live in the suburbs they leave their keys in the car and they just go around checking cars and if they start, they start.”

Other cities affected, Hofmann and Dacek said, include Beachwood, Lyndhurst, Pepper Pike, Macedonia, Twinsburg, Fairview Park and Rocky River.

“Got to take your keys in the house,” Hofmann said. “Got to lock your garage doors.”

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