While there were several instances of both outright vehicular theft and items stolen from parked vehicles over the last week, Capt. John Klug of the Minot Police Department does not consider the instances a "rash" of thefts and most of them do not appear to be connected in any way.
"We don't consider it to be a major concern," Klug said, adding that motorists should take basic precautions to protect their vehicles and their possessions.
"We're not seeing cars being hot-wired," he said. "Just don't leave your car running with the keys in it. Most things that happen like this are crimes of opportunity."
Two vehicles reported stolen over the last week were both unlocked, unoccupied, and running. One of them has since been recovered.
A white 2000 Chevrolet K-1500 was stolen from the parking lot of a fast food restaurant on South Broadway on Feb. 4 around 10 a.m. when the owner left it running. Another was stolen the same day from an address in the 300 block of 20th Avenue Southeast. The 2009 Ford F-150 was running and a "computer network analyzer" valued around $10,000 was also in the vehicle.
One vehicle reported stolen was recovered shortly after 7 a.m. Wednesday and was considered by Klug to be a "civil matter." A man had reported the 1986 Dodge Ram W-150 stolen from him by his former wife, who had also taken their 10-year-old daughter with her. The father had full legal custody of the child, reports indicate.
Another car was reported stolen by a company that had loaned it out to another company. The company the vehicle was loaned to said that an employee had been driving it before he was fired from the company. They reported to police, according to unofficial police reports, that the employee had driven to another state without ever returning the vehicle.
A purple Peterbilt semi truck without license plates was reported stolen by the Belfield Police Department in Stark County but was recovered Friday at about 4:15 p.m. in the parking lot of a North Broadway fast food restaurant.
As for items stolen from vehicles, Klug said crimes like that happen a lot and are also usually crimes of opportunity.
At least two vehicles parked in the Amtrak parking lot had windows shattered and radio and speaker systems taken while the owners were away. Klug said suspects have been apprehended in those thefts.