Car Thefts Increase in Bismarck

By  | 

Small town habits are leading Bismarck residents into big trouble with their vehicles.

Bismarck police say there's been a dramatic spike in vehicular theft, and it's not slowing down.

Vehicular theft is something Bismarck police have seen, but since 2014, the number of cases has police advising residents to hold on to keys and lock car doors.

What once was safe is one reason Detective Mike Renton is busy this month.

"Ten years ago, you know, people had a different perspective of Bismarck," said Renton, Bismarck Police Department.

Renton says from 2014 to 2015, the number of vehicle thefts nearly doubled. It's a trend that's continuing this year.

"We already have 46 motor vehicle thefts, half of which the keys have been left in the vehicle," Renton said.

In some cases victims are warming their vehicles in the morning, and walk outside to an empty driveway or spot. Renton adds that it's not just in one part of town, but widespread.

"What it really comes down to is crime of opportunity for some of these suspects, they see it and they'll just go for it," Renton said.

Renton says locating stolen vehicles is a challenge, and they mainly rely on license plate numbers. For those looking to warm vehicles in the morning, he recommends car starters that can be affordable.

"I can unlock my car right now, I can lock it, I can remote start it, tells me when the doors are open even tells me when it's started and how much longer I have left on it. It's nice to know, it's a sense of security," said Dillon Beaulac, Custom Stripes and Recreation shop foreman.

Car starters can range from $200 to $600.

There are many shops in town where you can have car starters installed, and Beaulac says even in the warmer months they install one to two a day.