Car thefts up compared to last year in Fargo-Moorhead metro

When temperatures go down, car thefts go up.

FARGO — Jayce Ahmann was out with his friends at Buffalo Wild Wings on Feb. 11. With temperatures at 11 below zero, he let his car warm up as he waited inside the restaurant.

"(It was)The craziest thing, you always think like, 'Oh, if you're looking at your vehicle, it's not going to get stolen,'" Ahmann said. "I was looking at it while it was happening."

His car was eventually found, smelling of cigarettes and its suspension had been damaged. Regardless, Ahmann was happy to get his vehicle back -- many are not so lucky.

The Fargo Police Department reports 77 stolen cars since the start of the year. That's up 10 from the same time last year.

In Moorhead, 34 vehicles have been stolen so far this year compared to 21 last year.


In West Fargo, the number of thefts has gone down compared to the same time last year.

The number of vehicles stolen in Grand Forks is slightly higher, from 15 to 22 vehicles.

Fargo Police Department's public information officer Jessica Schindeldecker says there is a key way to discourage potential thieves.

"The only way to really prevent motor vehicle thefts is to make sure the keys are not in, and it's locked," Schindeldecker said.

It sounds simple, but she says it's the most common way cars are stolen, and once a thief is behind the wheel, stolen cars are often connected to other crimes.

"That can often time end in damage to the vehicle, damage to the property and damage to innocent bystanders or the peron involved in the incident," Schindeldecker said.

Fargo police say investing in a remote starter, or sitting in the vehicle as it warms up are other simple ways to deter thieves.

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