Three Owensboro Police Department reports were made Tuesday regarding contents stolen from the insides of vehicles. Calls reporting the thefts were made from three unique locations. However, all three of those locations were discovered to be within a mile from each other, hinting at the probability that those incidents were related.
OPD police reports show that on Tuesday, each theft included items stolen at over $500 value, but less than $10,000.
In the 2200 block of Citation Avenue, a black Dell laptop was reported stolen at an estimated value of $1,059.99. In the 2300 block of Omaha Ct., contents were stolen from a vehicle at an estimated amount of $1,120. And in the 2500 block of Middleground Dr., a competition bow and arrow and pocket knife were reported stolen at an estimated value of $580.
Not only is there a concern about contents being stolen from vehicles in Owensboro, but also the vehicles themselves. Since Dec. 1, OPD police reports reveal that, while 13 felony-level reports have been made regarding stolen content from vehicles, the number of vehicles that have been reported stolen is even higher. In fact, 20 vehicles have been reported stolen across Owensboro since Dec. 1.
A recent situation caused Owensboro resident Tracy Naylor to feel the effects of vehicle theft firsthand. Beginning with events that started last Thursday, Naylor faced, not one, but two experiences of a stolen vehicle.
Naylor’s red 2011 Ford Escape was stolen out of her driveway at some point after 10 p.m. the Wednesday before. Naylor said her husband, who leaves for work each day around 4:30 a.m., looked at their back driveway at 4 a.m. to discover his wife’s car was missing.
“He said, ‘Your car’s not in the driveway,’” Naylor said. “We called the police and officers took our statement and left by 5 a.m.”
After OPD left, Naylor and her husband found that their car had been returned to the home and parked in the driveway. Naylor said the car had been brought back at some point between 5 and 5:30 a.m. The couple called OPD again, and the same officers who’d left only minutes before returned to take another statement.
“The entire bumper, the back end was damaged,” Naylor said.
Because Naylor’s driveway ends in a sharp curve, she believes those who’d stolen her vehicle ran it into the neighbors’ damaged fence behind her house.
That’s not where Naylor’s story ends. On the following Monday morning, Naylor found that her car had been stolen once again.
“That time, they didn’t bring it back,” Naylor said.
The car was later discovered by a lady who lived on St. Ann Street, who found Naylor’s car parked in her driveway around 4:15 p.m. After discovering the car unlocked and Naylor’s business card inside, she called Naylor to tell her the car had been found.
This time, an additional dent was found in the hood of the car and the vehicle was covered in mud, Naylor said, adding that the car’s interior also smelled strongly of cigarettes and marijuana.
Naylor said the theft of the vehicle was, in part, her own fault. At some point before any of the thefts happened, Naylor had used a spare key to start the car and de-thaw her windshield, and she’d dropped the spare key into her center console afterward, thinking nothing of it.
“It probably was unlocked [the night it was taken]. My husband had driven it to the grocery store the night before. I’m fanatical about locking it, but I’m guessing it was unlocked. I suspect they [the thieves] kept the key,” Naylor said.
Naylor spoke with Champion Ford about the situation, and they are now in the process of reprogramming her engine so that another key can be used.
As for identifying the driver who stole Naylor’s vehicle, fingerprints were taken both times, but nothing came back the first time and the second set hasn’t come back with results yet.
“Judging by their inability to drive, I’d say they were young. The seat was moved way up when it was returned, even closer than I would’ve driven and I’m 5-foot-4,” Naylor said. “The cigarettes and the pot–I’d say they were inexperienced.”
Andrew Boggess, Public Information Officer for OPD, says it’s important to always lock your vehicle in order to avoid your car being stolen and having items stolen out of it.
“The majority of our thefts do come from unlocked vehicles,” Boggess said. “Locking your vehicle, taking out valuables — especially firearms — along with utilizing a car alarm, if it’s installed, are the best ways to prevent becoming a victim.”