Police encourage people to "lock your block"

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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. 122 cars were stolen within the city of Grand Junction last year and the thefts were usually related to two simple mistakes.

80% of cars that are stolen or broken into were unlocked or the windows were down at the time of theft.

"It makes them a prime target for auto thieves," said Kate Porras, of the Grand Junction Police Department. "It’s very easy at that point to get into your car either to steal items out of it or to take your car itself."

Also, people often leave their keys in the ignition with the air conditioning running, which is not only illegal, but also an open invitation to thieves.

Some drivers even hide the keys somewhere in the car.

July is Auto Theft Awareness month, encouraging people to protect themselves from the crime and also their neighborhoods by "lock your block."

"Not only look out for yourselves but look out for your family members, look out for your family members as well," Porras said. "If you see any suspicious activity in your neighborhood, call it in, call 911, let us get someone out there to look at it."

Leaving items like purses or wallets in plain sight are an obvious invitation for thieves to break in, but they can also find personal information in cars like car registration with home addresses printed on them and garage door openers.

More than 500 cars had items stolen out of them in Grand Junction in 2013.

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