Police share auto theft ring concerns

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For several months the, Prairie du Chien Police Department has investigated multiple stolen vehicle reports. Investigations included video and forensic evidence, interviews of witnesses and suspects and cooperation between law enforcement agencies. Through this, a trend has been identified.

It is believed a group of juveniles from the LaCrosse, Onalaska and LaCrescent, Minn. area are involved in a multi-state auto theft ring. The suspects range in age from 13 to 17. In Prairie du Chien, all vehicles stolen had their keys in the vehicle. There have been instances where the vehicle owner left their keys in the vehicle and only the keys were taken. The owner believed they misplaced the keys, only to have their vehicle stolen several days later. In addition to vehicle thefts, these suspects are removing items of value if there are no keys but the cars are still unlocked. In other incidents, license plates are stolen from vehicles that are locked, and those plates are then used to replace the plates on vehicles that have been reported stolen. 

The police department would reminds the public that all vehicles, garages and homes should be locked. Measures should be taken to ensure that outside motion lights are in working order and if you have any home video surveillance technology, the police department would like to see any images captured by these devices. 

These cases remain under investigation.

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