Breaking into Your Car Takes Seconds. So Does Preventing It. #GVCopBeat #MCSO #PufferCars #MCCrimeStoppers
In the last two months, the Grand Junction Police Department and the Mesa County Sheriff’s Office have taken a combined total of 16 motor vehicle theft reports in which the keys were left in the unlocked vehicle. Of those sixteen reports, eleven of the vehicles were running and unattended at the time of the theft, commonly referred to as “puffing.”
There has been a lot of education regarding puffing in the last several weeks. Certainly, we don’t want anyone to be a victim of this preventable crime. But perhaps one element of puffing has been overlooked; the danger it presents in the community. Individuals that steal a car are committing a felony—they don’t want to be caught. There have been several reports of vehicles matching the description of stolen cars driving erratically and at high rates of speed throughout the City and County. This places others on the road in danger, not to mention the thief, as well. One of the vehicles that was stolen had a loaded handgun in the car at the time it was taken. Certainly, a firearm ending up in the hands of a criminal is a concern, to say the least.
Please, don’t leave your car running and unattended for any reason, for any length of time. If you are not in your car, your keys shouldn’t be, either.
The Grand Junction Police Department is currently seeking assistance from the public in solving these crimes. If you know anything about these car thefts, please call non-emergency dispatch at (970)242-6707. You can also contact Crime Stoppers of Mesa County at (970)241-STOP, or online at www.241STOP.com, if you’d like to remain anonymous.
Also, we want you to be aware of any suspicious vehicles in your neighborhood, or on your street. Three of the vehicles stolen out of the city of Grand Junction are still missing. They are described as follows:
- 2002 silver Ford Ranger pickup, with dents on the truck bed, both sides, and the rear bumper, plate number 139OQW
- 2015 white Toyota Sienna minivan, plate number QPD943
- 2004 red Chevy Cavalier, faded hood and roof, bad tinting in the rear window, “Brown Gold” sticker in rear window with antlers on it, plate number 929YGR
Pay attention to vehicles in your area that may be abandoned, or are not familiar to you in your neighborhood. Although the license plates listed above were on the vehicles at the time they were stolen, they may have been removed by now. If you see a vehicle that matches the description of the vehicles listed above, please call non-emergency dispatch at (970)242-6707.
Again, these were preventable crimes. We can’t stress enough the importance of protecting yourself, your property, and your community, by keeping your car locked and your keys in your possession whenever it’s unattended. Not only is puffing risky, but it’s also against the law.