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Ahead of winter, Fargo Police warn of a potential increase in auto thefts



Fargo, North Dakota – The Fargo Police are issuing a warning because they usually observe a spike in auto thefts at this time.

Across the country, crime has increased. According to the most recent FBI figures, about one million cars were stolen last year, an 11% increase in vehicle thefts.

In Fargo alone, 419 automobiles have been reported stolen so far this year.

“As cold weather starts to hit us, it starts to happen more,” Fargo Police Criminal Investigations Division Capt. Bill Ahlfeldt said. “I haven’t noticed an uptick, but I would not be surprised to see an uptick.”

According to Capt. Ahlfeldt, a variety of problems contribute to this type of crime. But a lot of them are caused by people running, leaving their cars open, or leaving their keys inside.

“As tempting as it is in the winter, to go out and start your car up and leave it running, don’t do that,” he adds.

Make an immediate police report if your car is taken. Try to gather a detailed description of the suspect and their intended destination if you happen to witness it being stolen. A policeman will emerge and collect the report.

“People steal vehicles, many times, to commit crimes and to go undetected,” Capt. Ahlfeldt says. “In all seriousness, often times people in stolen vehicles flee law enforcement and sometimes those fleeing vehicles create crashes.”

Fargo Police actively look for your stolen autos because of this. 350 of the 419 stolen cars have been found by Fargo Police.

“That’s a pretty good chance your vehicle will be recovered, but it’s not a guarantee,” Capt. Ahlfeldt says.