Police investigating rash of car thefts
An increase of vehicle theft has been reported in Window Rock and other neighboring communities.
In the month of March alone 26 vehicle thefts were reported, and of that 18 were confirmed stolen. The communities the vehicles were stolen from were Window Rock, St. Michaels, Tse Bonito, Querino Canyon, Fort Defiance, Klagetoh, Hunters Point and Navajo.
Navajo Nation Police Chief Phillip Francisco said his officers have been working on these thefts, and have identified the same group of “opportunistic” individuals who are attempting these thefts.
The targets of these thefts are construction companies working in the area, tribal vehicles, vehicles that are left running and unattended, and a break-in to Emergency Management Services occurred where keys were stolen for tribal vehicles, said Francisco.
“They’ve narrowed it down to a group,” said Francisco. “They will drive around and look for unlocked cars, or they will break into buildings and find access to cars and they take them.”
Francisco said people warming their vehicles up in the morning are also easy pickings for theft. He also said foremen at construction sites leave keys in the vehicles, making access easy for thieves.
“Public service announcement would be: Don’t keep your cars running,” said Francisco. “Keep your keys safe. Have situational awareness. If someone is scoping out the parking lot you have to be careful because they’re opportunistic.”