Jul 21, 2014 8:51 PM by Lena Howland
Car thefts in Pueblo are on the rise.
The numbers are up 59% from a year ago with 387 stolen cars since January.
"I think it's just a matter of things like how easy it is to get into it, the location, if it's a dark street and they can get in, if their windows are unlocked, those type of things are what make them easier to steal," Eric Gonzales, Public Information Officer for the Pueblo Police Department said.
Leaving some folks in Pueblo on edge.
"It just kinda sucks when somebody feels like they could take something that's yours without having to work for something, that's their own something that you had to work for to get," Isaiah Hernandez, a life-long Pueblo resident said.
And believe it or not, police say that too many times... folks are actually helping the crooks out, leaving your keys inside the car.
"People leave their keys in their glove box, somewhere hidden in there and the thieves when they go through and start ransacking the vehicles, find that and it's a free, easy way to take a car without having to bust an ignition so they end up just taking the car," Gonzales said.
And leaving any other valuables in your car will also attract car thieves, a lesson Hernandez learned the hard way... after his brand new stereo was stolen.
"I had to buy the panel to put it in all nice and I came back and it was just all destroyed and gone. It's kinda devastating though, somebody's in your personal space and taking your personal belongings," Hernandez said.
To be fair, there is some good news here. Pueblo police have a 77% recovery rate of the stolen cars this year.
"We've actually arrested a number of car thieves and thrown them in jail. But they still happen," Gonzales said.
Police urge folks in Pueblo to lock your car doors, roll up the windows and don't leave any spare keys in the car to prevent car theft.