LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — If you live in the northwest Las Vegas valley, you will want to listen up: Metro Police are seeing a rise in car thefts in that part of town.
“Shocked. I was just shocked,” said northwest valley resident Bryan Yniguez.
He says he was taking out the trash Sunday morning when he heard a noise at the gate of his neighborhood.
He had turned his car on to get the air conditioning going, but when he came back, he found himself face to face with a scary situation.
“Somebody was coming behind my car in my garage,” Yniguez said.
Yniguez says a man stole his car at gunpoint.
“Once he was reaching for my door and then I saw his right hand come up, I was like okay, that’s it,” Yniguez said.
“The gun just came pointed to my face.”
The man then drove away. All of this unfolded while Yniguez’s wife Nicole and their children were sleeping inside.
“You see these things happening around Las Vegas and you never expect it to happen to you,” Nicole Yniguez said. “The comfort of your home in broad daylight.”
This is part of a growing trend.
According to Metro Police statistics, car thefts in 2021 are up nearly 32% in the northwest area, compared to the same time last year.
Retired Henderson Police Capt. Michael Johnston says you should never leave your car running, unattended. He adds that there are steps you should take after you park.
“Rolling up your windows, locking the door, taking the keys with you, that is critical to keeping your vehicle safe,” Johnston said.
To be extra secure, you can also buy tools like a club or brake lock, which will prevent the car from moving.
“Some of those products work extremely well as a deterrent,” Johnston said.
Police also say another thing you can do is when you go home at night, back into your garage, and close the garage door before leaving your car.
The Yniguez family says police found their car hours away, but it is not drivable anymore.
While Bryan and Nicole Yniguez drive their rental car, for the time being, they are already taking more safety measures, such as buying a surveillance camera. And they want everyone to learn from their story.
“It’s a serious matter so I think it’s important for everybody just to be very diligent no matter where you are,” Nicole Yniguez said.