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Rash of auto thefts, burglaries plague Turlock over the weekend
auto theft
The Turlock Police Department took 10 reports of auto thefts and 11 reports of auto burglaries from Aug. 24-16. A fair number of the burglaries occurred because valuable items were visible in the vehicles.

If you live in Turlock and had your vehicle broken into or outright stolen this weekend, take solace in the fact that you were not alone.

The city saw an influx of auto thefts and auto burglaries between Friday and Sunday, with the Turlock Police Department taking 10 reports of auto thefts and 11 reports of auto burglaries. For the auto thefts, two of those reports were from vehicles that were stolen last year and just now reported to the police department.

A fair number of the auto burglaries are linked with the start of school, as several had backpacks visible in the vehicles, said Turlock Police spokesman Sgt. Russ Holeman.

The thefts were reported in various neighborhoods around town and did not appear to be linked. Several were crimes of opportunity because the vehicle owner had left the car running, or in one case had left the windows down and the keys in the ignition, Holeman said.

Auto burglaries and thefts reported between Aug. 24 -26

• An auto theft was reported at 7:14 a.m. Friday in the 300 block of West F Street.

• An auto theft was reported at 5:34 p.m. Saturday in the 2100 block of Fulkerth Road.

• An auto burglary was reported at 8:12 p.m. Saturday in the 600 block of E. Olive Avenue.

• An auto theft was reported at 3:21 a.m. Sunday in the 3900 block of Supreme Court.

• An auto burglary was reported at 3:22 a.m. Sunday in the 300 block of S. Broadway.

• An auto theft was reported at 7:37 a.m. Sunday in the 500 block of W. Linwood Avenue.

• An auto burglary was reported at 9:34 a.m. Sunday in the 2400 block of Mayfaire Drive.

• An auto burglary was reported at 10:16 a.m. Sunday in the 400 block of Bennington Avenue.

• An auto burglary was reported at 10:49 a.m. Sunday in the 1400 block of Wood Mint Drive.

• An auto theft was reported at 11:16 a.m. Sunday in the 1200 block of East Avenue.

• An auto burglary was reported at 12:50 p.m. Sunday in the 1500 block of Moonbeam Way.

• An auto burglary was reported at 4:38 p.m. Sunday in the 3400 block of W. Monte Vista Avenue.

• An auto theft was reported at 5:05 p.m. Sunday in the 1600 block of Backus Lane.

• An auto theft was reported at 5:05 p.m. Sunday in the 1600 block of Backus Lane.

• An auto burglary was reported at 5:37 p.m. Sunday in the 3500 block of Milano Court.

• An auto burglary was reported at 8:51 p.m. in the 200 block of Queensland Avenue.

 

Some auto thefts and auto burglaries that happened during this time frame are not listed because they were classified as a different type of offense on the police log.

“The Turlock Police Department would like to remind people to make sure you do not leave any items of value visible in your locked vehicle,” Holeman said. “If you have a garage, use it to park your car in overnight. As the weather will soon start to turn colder, leaving your vehicle unoccupied while it warms up is an invitation to be victimized.”

In one case from the weekend, a 14-year-old boy was apprehended in one of the stolen vehicles. The events leading up to his arrest began Saturday night when the police department received a report of a suspected vehicle burglary in the 1400 block of Campbell Way. Officers responded to the area and located two Hondas that matched the suspect vehicle descriptions. Officers attempted stops on each of the vehicles, but they both sped away.

One vehicle was able to evade capture, however, the other was briefly pursued until it crashed into a fence at the intersection of Monte Vista Avenue and Four Seasons Drive. The 14-year-old boy who was driving the car was arrested and booked for felony evading and possession of stolen property and burglary tools. The Honda had been reported stolen. The other Honda that got away was also reported stolen.

The National Insurance Crime Bureau recommends people utilize a four "layers of protection" to guard against vehicle theft:

Common Sense — the common sense approach to protection is the easiest and most cost-effective way to thwart would-be thieves. You should always:

·        - Remove your keys from the ignition

·        - Lock your doors /close your windows             

·       -  Park in a well-lit area

Warning Device — the second layer of protection is a visible or audible device which alerts thieves that your vehicle is protected. Popular devices include:

·        - Audible alarms

·         -Steering column collars

·        - Steering wheel/brake pedal lock

·        - Brake locks

·        - Wheel locks

·        - Theft deterrent decals

·        - Identification markers in or on vehicle

·        - VIN etching

·        - Micro dot marking

Immobilizing Device — the third layer of protection is a device which prevents thieves from bypassing your ignition and hot-wiring the vehicle. Some electronic devices have computer chips in ignition keys. Other devices inhibit the flow of electricity or fuel to the engine until a hidden switch or button is activated. Some examples are:

·        - Smart keys

·         -Fuse cut-offs

·         -Kill switches

·         -Starter, ignition, and fuel pump disablers

·        - Wireless ignition authentication

Tracking Device — the final layer of protection is a tracking device which emits a signal to police or a monitoring station when the vehicle is stolen. Tracking devices are very effective in helping authorities recover stolen vehicles. Some systems employ "telematics" which combine GPS and wireless technologies to allow remote monitoring of a vehicle. If the vehicle is moved, the system will alert the owner and the vehicle can be tracked via computer.