The Laramie County Sheriff's Office is taking steps to reduce a recent increase in stoeln vehicles in the county.

That's according to a post on the agency's Facebook page.

According to the post, the agency responded to 60 auto thefts in 2020. Last year that number rose to 94, and already this year, in just under two months, deputies have investigated 28 auto thefts.

That would translate to 336 auto thefts over the course of the year if that rate were to continue for the entire 12 months. In an effort to stem the rising tide of auto thefts the sheriff's office is asking people not to leave the keys in their cars or leave vehicles running unattended.

While the second practice is common during the cold winter months, it is actually illegal in Cheyenne and offers thieves an easay opportunity to simply drive away.

In the Facebook post, the sheriff's office says it is going to take the following steps to combat auto theft:

"The Sheriff’s Office has decided to approach this problem in a two-pronged approach. The first will be to enter into a public relations and social media campaign to help educate our community on the issue and to seek citizen cooperation in helping to reduce the chance of falling victim to having their vehicle stolen.
The second, which has been on-going, involves the consolidation of criminal intelligence on stolen vehicles and suspects into our Detectives Section who will be the focal point for all stolen vehicle investigation reports. This would also include the development of small placards or cards that will be placed on vehicles that are found to be unattended and left with the engine running on public streets/highways or in business parking lots. The cards will serve as a friendly reminder to alert citizens to the fact that their vehicle could have been stolen. This will fall under our continued efforts to ensure awareness of the issue. The goal is to increase public awareness and cooperation. Written warnings, as well as the possibility of traffic citations, may be issued for violation of Wyoming State Statute 31-5-509 (Requirements before leaving motor vehicle unattended).
The Sheriff’s Office will continue to focus our patrol resources on our most impacted areas and utilize all criminal intelligence to actively recover stolen vehicles and pursue criminal charges against all suspects identified. The metrics that will be tracked and continually reviewed will be the number of stolen vehicles, the number of recovered stolen vehicles, and the number of suspects arrested and charged. Our plan will be to keep the community advised of our progress by periodically posting updated statistics."
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