Jackson Co. Deputies See Increase in Vehicle Break-Ins

Jackson County Sheriff’s Office (JCSO) deputies are reminding outdoor enthusiasts to be careful when leaving vehicles unattended, especially in remote areas.  Deputies have seen a recent spike in reports of vehicle break-ins, with many occurring near Applegate Lake.

In the period from May 11 to July 11, 2019, deputies responded to 54 calls for thefts from vehicles throughout Jackson County, a 13% increase from the same time period last year.  Of note is a high concentration of thefts in recreation areas.   

“In the last two months, we’ve received three reports of thefts from vehicles at the Table Rock trailheads,” said Sergeant Julie Denney.  “But in the more remote area of Applegate Lake, we’ve had nine theft reports in just the last five weeks.”

Two such thefts were reported on Wednesday, July 10.  In one incident, the victim saw the suspects who broke into his vehicle. 

At 6:40 p.m., the victim was reportedly fishing near a bridge at the south end of Applegate Lake.  He said he saw two suspects smash the window of his pickup and steal his cell phone.  He described the suspects as white male adults in their late 20’s or early 30’s with long, dark hair.  The suspects sped away to the south, toward Seattle Bar, in a blue Audi hatchback.  Anyone with information about the suspects’ identities can call the JCSO tip line at (541) 774-8333.  Refer to case #19-14193.

Deputies remind people to keep prevention in mind when leaving vehicles unattended.  The following are tips to help keep your property safe:

  • Park in a well-lit, visible area. Busy parking lots are less likely to attract thieves.
  • Roll up your windows and lock your doors.  Most thieves are looking for an easy target and don’t want to break a window because the noise attracts attention.
  • Use a car alarm with a visible signal like a blinking light.
  • Don’t leave anything of value in your car. Thieves will break a window to gain entry if they see something they want inside, even if it’s just loose change. 
  • If you must leave valuables in your vehicle, hide them before you arrive.  Thieves often stake out parking areas; they’ll see you putting valuables in your trunk.
  • Never keep a spare key inside your car.
  • If your ID or credit cards are stolen, your identity will likely be next.  Call your financial institutions right away to cancel your accounts.
  • Be vigilant for a home burglary if your house keys or items with your address were stolen.  

Deputies say it’s not uncommon for thefts to go unreported, but they urge people to report them all, no matter how minor they may seem.  The non-emergency dispatch number is (541) 776-7206.

“Even if we are unable to solve a particular case, it helps us to know where crimes are occurring,” said Sergeant Denney.  “Then we can focus our proactive patrols in problem areas.”

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