Moline police say 8 cars have already been stolen in 2019

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MOLINE, Illinois  --  Moline police reported that 127 cars were stolen from the city in 2018. In 2019, eight cars have been stolen as of January 21.

"If you average that out for the year, we're going to again be over 100 for the year," Moline Detective Michael Griffin said.

On Sunday, January 20th, police say four juveniles stole a vehicle in Moline, before crashing into a Rock Island railroad crossing.

Moline police say they see a spike in vehicle thefts during winter months.

"Don't go outside and warm your car up," Detective Griffin said. "You're not warming it up for yourself, you're warming it up for juvenile car thieves. They are going to have a warm joy ride and you're going to have a cold walk to call police."

"I think it's probably hard to break the habit," Moline resident Jim Rutherford said. "I think people feel safe in their own community and I think it's really hard to change."

Moline police say breaking the habit of keeping keys in your vehicle is the only way to stop the crime. You can also receive a citation if you leave your vehicle running and unattended on a public street.

"It continues to increase," Detective Griffin said. "We continue to warn people about the dangers of leaving an unoccupied vehicle running, because they are getting stolen at an alarming rate."

Seven of the eight stolen vehicles this year had keys left inside them.

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