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Gallatin County sees increase in vehicle thefts and break-ins

Posted: 6:21 PM, Dec 11, 2018
Updated: 2018-12-11 20:21:17-05

BOZEMAN, Mont. – Recently there have been a number of car break-ins, and even car thefts, in Gallatin County.

The Bozeman Police Department said they see car thefts throughout the entire year but there’s an uptick right around the holiday season.

Two vehicles have been stolen and various break-ins have occurred in and around Bozeman lately.

These incidents have had one thing in common: keys left in the vehicle.

“Had the keys left in the vehicle, and so that’s not a good idea. One of them, the keys were in plain view and so again these are crimes of opportunity where we need to kind of make ourselves more resilient and less to be prone to be victimized,” Bozeman Chief of Police Steve Crawford said.

Crawford added the police department sees this typically happen in sprees, and it can sometimes be small groups of people working together. During the holiday season, people are more likely to leave more valuables in their vehicles along with gifts they’re planning to give.

Bozeman police say if you decide to keep valuables in your car, you should make sure you lock it.

One of the most recent thefts involved a firearm taken from a vehicle. Crawford says if you’re going to have a firearm in the vehicle, make sure it’s secured.

“It creates a safety issue for the community, obviously, and it is one of the most common or most sought after objects of theft,” Crawford said.

For non-emergency reports of theft, you can reach the Bozeman Police Department at 582-2000.