Car thefts are on the rise across the Las Vegas valley and some of those thefts could be easily avoided, according to Metro Police.
It is only mid-February and already more than 970 cars have been reported stolen to the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department.
Out of four hotspots where thefts were highest, two were in the northeast area of the valley.
Police met with community members there Thursday to try and stop more people from becoming victims.
“I was looking at the Metro website and there’s a lot of thefts around us,” said Brittany Roof, an apartment manager.
She worries about crime plaguing the apartment complex she manages.
Auto thefts are a problem in the area and police are warning her and dozens of others.
“We see the joy rides where they’re just taking it to get from point A to point B but we also see those that are specifically targeting cars for parts with after market wheels, or a unique part of the car to fix their car,” said Sgt. Fred Haas, Metro Police.
In the first six weeks of the year, around 130 cars were stolen on the northeast side of the valley.
“This is in our neighborhoods, in shopping malls, in apartment complexes,” Sgt. Haas said.
Across the valley, that number shoots up to nearly 1,000.
“It’s a crime of opportunity,” said Erin Blakey, crime prevention specialist.
All too often, victims make their cars easy targets.
“I see a lot of reports where the car is just unlocked,” Sgt. Haas said.
Police urge people to always lock their vehicle and take valuables out of cars to avoid temptation.
The most common kinds of cars stolen are 1990s models of Honda Accords and Civics, according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau.