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Carjacking trend you should be aware of

There were reports of criminals stealing car keys from inside a home then taking the car right out of the garage.

Police say they can’t stress enough the importance of locking your cars and taking the keys inside with you. In recent cases in Brookfield and Germantown, thieves have gained easy access to cars through open garages and unlocked doors.

“We’ve been experiencing a significant increase in motor vehicles over the last month or so,” says Lieutenant Thomas Schreiart of Germantown Police Department.

More then a15 cars have been reported stolen from Germantown so far this year.

The most recent case happening Monday at 3 A.M. when suspects entered a home while the owner was asleep.

“The garage door was open,” explains Schreiart. “We believe the actors entered her residence through the garage, found her keys, and then stole her vehicle.”

Before the car was even reported missing, the suspects crashed the vehicle in Milwaukee where a foot pursuit later lead to their arrests.

But this isn’t the only jurisdiction with the growing problem.

“We’ve had unlocked cars in the driveway entered, garage doors openers accessed, garage door open, and then the thieves made their way into the residence,” says Captain Phil Horter with Brookfield Police Department.

Horter says the crimes tend to be late at night and early in the morning.

“In another instance, the homeowner woke up to someone walking in his hallway,” explains Horter. “The suspect fled, got into a vehicle, and drove away.”

Local authorities say they’re working together closely to try and catch the thieves, but want to stress the importance of basic safety.

“Use proper lighting outside,” says Schreiart. “Not just lock your garage door but lock the door that enters your residence as well, and if neighbors could look out for each other that would really help us immensely.”

Officers encourage you to call your local police or sheriff department if you see something suspicious in your area.

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