GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Local authorities say they are seeing a high number of car thefts.
Sgt. Joy Matthews with the Kent County Sheriff's Office believes the pandemic has fueled the problem.
"This year has been unprecedented with the number of stolen vehicles that we have had, says Matthews. "COVID has had a huge impact on that."
In Grand Rapids alone there have been more than 400 car theft break ins since Oct. 1 and authorities say the criminals are getting sophisticated.
"With advancements of technology in vehicles, with key fobs or blue tooth capabilities, there are some really techy people out there and even techy people become criminals," says Matthews.
Now there are reports out of the Kalamazoo area that some criminals are able to hack into your key fob signal and break in. Authorities say they have not seen this particular crime in Kent County yet.
"Even though we might be seeing a rash of crimes occurring in a different county, we still pay attention to that because it's only a matter of time until that similar crime is occurring in our county as well," says Matthews.
In addition to making sure you always lock up authorities also recommend keeping your key fob a good distance away from the car.
"Bring your keys inside, get them away from your vehicle and that might assist with keeping your vehicle and the contents within your vehicle a little safer," says Matthews.
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