The South Burlington Police Department has seen a significant increase in the number of stolen vehicles over the past 15 months, and want to remind the public to take precautions to prevent this from happening.

Between 2013 and 2020, South Burlington Police took an average of 23 stolen vehicle reports per year. In 2021, 47 reports were made. So far in 2022, 30 have been made. These reports can include overdue rental vehicles, vehicles that were loaned out but not returned, and vehicles stolen from driveways and parking lots. Detective Kevin Grealis says they are seeing this happen to people that leave their keys in the car.

“The kind of dangerous part is on our end,” said Detective Grealis. “What we are starting to see is these are vehicles that have been used in other crimes, so people who steal them might use them in another crimes like a burglary and more car break-ins because they won’t go detected because they are using a stolen vehicle.”

Of the 40 stolen vehicles reported in 2022, at least 17 of them were stolen by a person unknown by the victim and the keys were either left in the vehicle or another easily accessible place.