PEORIA, Ill. — The Peoria Police Department is encouraging the community to keep an eye on their cars.
The department has had 159 stolen cars reported so far this year.
Last year, they had a total of 213 reported.
Officials advise the best way to avoid becoming a victim of auto theft is to keep your car and garage locked.
Amy Doston, the public information officer for the department, says that many cars are stolen by juveniles looking for joy rides.
They also say you should never leave your keys inside the vehicle because it creates an easy target.
Police say whether you park in a garage or a driveway, you should never leave your car unlocked.
“The number one tip for all theft is to lock your stuff. Whether it be lock your garage, lock your house, lock your car. Keep your belongings locked up,” said Dotson.
Police also say to avoid theft from inside your car, you shouldn’t leave any valuables in plain sight.