Having your car stolen is something you never want to experience. Unfortunately, 106 Montrose residents and visitors were victims of car theft in 2017 by criminals who, in several cases, took advantage of an easy opportunity.

While exact statistics other than the total number of cars stolen were provided, the Montrose Police Department and Montrose Regional Crime Stoppers say some of the victims made it easy for thieves to steal their vehicle.

Police say in several reports, victims left their vehicle unlocked or left the keys in the vehicle. There were also reports where the vehicle was stolen while left running unattended.

These reports only account for a certain percentage of stolen vehicles, but it's possible that had the owners been more cautious and taken certain precautions, they would still have their car.

Another disturbing fact is many of the stolen vehicles have yet to be recovered. Police are continuing to investigate the thefts and any information residents in Montrose can provide may help lead to a vehicle recovery.

If you have information, but don't want to contact the police department directly, you can make an anonymous report through Montrose Regional Crime Stoppers at 970-249-8500. If you tip leads to an arrest or vehicle recovery you'll be eligible for a cash reward.

The Montrose Police Department would like to see a significant decrease in both thefts of autos and thefts from autos this year. So here are some tips to lessen your chance of having your car or something in it stolen.

  • Do not leave your vehicle unlocked.
  • Do not leave valuables in your car, especially at night or when the vehicle will be left unattended for a lengthy period of time.
  • If you absolutely have to leave valuables in the vehicle, lock them in the trunk, the glove box, or other place where they can't be seen. While this is less than ideal, it's better than nothing.
  • Never leave the keys in the vehicle and that means anywhere in the vehicle.
  • Never make the mistake of leaving the vehicle running unattended, even if it's locked. A car thief can break into your car in less than a minute and quickly drive away.