- Associated Press - Tuesday, June 23, 2015

DAYTON, Ohio (AP) - Dayton police are warning residents not to leave their cars running unattended or unlocked after the city’s east side experienced a spike of in grand theft auto reports.

The Dayton Daily News reports (https://bit.ly/1fxxzWm ) that in the past 28 days, 30 vehicles were reported stolen. Officials say the figure represents a 114 percent increase over the previous month.

Police say a total of 136 cars were reported stolen so far in 2015, a 20 percent increase from the same period last year.

Dayton Police Lt. Andrew Booher says about half of the vehicles reported stolen were taken by an acquaintance of the owner. Thieves often dump stolen vehicles in alleys or on neighborhood streets after taking them for a ride.

“If (people) notice a vehicle on their street that’s been there for a little while and they’re not familiar with it, give us a call,” Booher said. “It may be a vehicle that was stolen and was dropped off in their neighborhood.”

Police are reminding residents that not only is it dangerous to leave cars running unattended, but it’s also illegal.

Many vehicle thefts occur in the winter months while owners are waiting for their cars to warm up.

Booher says it’s unusual to see such a spike in June.

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Information from: Dayton Daily News, https://www.daytondailynews.com

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