Anchorage police warn of seasonal jump in car thefts

Posted: Tuesday, November 19, 2002

ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Anchorage police are warning motorists not to leave their cars running while unattended.

The number of auto thefts jumps around this time every year, said Detective Scott Jessen, supervisor of the Anchorage Police Department's theft unit.

''You have a Christmas shoplifting season, and you have a winter car-stealing season.''

One day last week two calls came in on the same day about vehicles being stolen while warming up, Jessen said.

''It's incredible to me that people will leave their car running where they can't see it,'' he said. ''It costs what, 50 cents to get another key made?''

Car thieves in Anchorage do not appear to be picky. The vehicles stolen so far have been new and old and were taken from all over town -- apartment complexes, single-family residences, outside workplaces.

''Anywhere you'd want to have a nice warm car to get into,'' Jessen said.

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