New crime analysis on thefts from vehicles in Eau Claire

By: Aaron Dimick Email
By: Aaron Dimick Email

EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) -- New crime analysis from the Eau Claire Police Department shows which parts of the city have had the most thefts from vehicles.

Officer Jason Kaveney said over the past three months, the majority of the 92 thefts from vehicles have taken place in the downtown area and the college student neighborhood surrounding the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.

Kaveney said while the thefts from cars have fluctuated over the years, it’s something that happens all over Eau Claire.

“We do see it as a common occurrence. There are a large amount of them in our downtown area, a lot of them in our college district area,” Kaveney said.

The police officer said those areas see a spike in activity because college students and downtown visitors may be more apt to leave high-priced items in their cars.

Police said there has been three recent reports of thefts from vehicles in the neighborhood at Seymour Road and Morningside Drive on Eau Claire’s northeast side.

Robert Judson, who lives on Seymour Road, said his family car was targeted on November 29 by a thief looking to steal items from his car.

“I was getting ready to go to work and I came out and got in the car. I got ready to start it. It smelled like cigarette smoke really bad so I jumped out thinking it wasn't my car,” Judson said.

Judson said he was shocked to find garbage thrown all over his car, his glove box torn apart and cigarette burns on his seats.

“Someone would want to do this for money, the holiday is coming and maybe they want to steal for Christmas presents. I think people usually break into cars for money,” Judson said.

Kaveney said while random spikes occur throughout the city, you should always keep your guard up.

“A lot of these cases are ones of opportunity and when items are left in a vehicle of high value like a computer, cell phone, GPS unit, money, or a purse and it's in plain view, it's going to increase the likelihood that your vehicle may be broken into,” Kaveney said.

He said thieves are also after the smallest amount of money.

“If they see a cup holder with change in it, they may not know if there is only 50 cents or even $20 in change. Change is another issue that shouldn't be in plain sight,” Kaveney said.

To protect your family, police say you should hide or remove valuable items from your car, parking in well-lit areas or near a motion detector and always locking your doors.

“Anyone can be victimized and anyone should take precautions, and the more you do now, the less of a headache it's going to be in the future,” Kaveney said.

And while you’re out shopping this holiday season, police advise you to keep gifts out of site by putting them in your trunk and taking them in overnight.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by C Location: Eau Claire on Dec 7, 2011 at 09:30 AM
    Maybe they'll figure out which bonehead took the back WHEEL off our old car... LOL
  • by citizen on Dec 7, 2011 at 09:16 AM
    If one looks at the crime map located in the LT section under "Docket" youll see crime is rampant throughout EC. The days of leaving your vehicle, boat,ATV,lawnmower house,etc, unlocked or unsecured are long past. A young pregant woman home alone in MN reported her dogs barking, and then two intruders breaking in the kitchen door to gain entrance. She called the cops, then had the forethought to get a shotgun and while loading it, which is quite a distinctive sound, the would be intruders ran off after recognizing the sound. These people do not do all their dirty work at night, some are very gutsy. She gave them fair warning, not too sure I would have done the same!! We have our share of losers on the northside without some inviting more into the area with your stupid comments.
  • by TRYME on Dec 6, 2011 at 11:16 PM
    I live right by seymour road. if anyone decides to touch my 2000 green pontiac bonneville better walk right into my house afterwards and speak w/ me. Ill have some words.... Just an FYI.
    • reply
      by me on Dec 7, 2011 at 08:40 AM in reply to TRYME
      I lived on shale ledge in 1983 and someone stole my music collection out of my car. Never ends.
  • by billybob on Dec 6, 2011 at 06:24 PM
    Just a couple years ago a friends car was stoled he call the ecpd they told him he would have to wait because it was shift change maybe if they would have come right away they would have found his car before it was wrecked
    • reply
      by anon on Dec 7, 2011 at 03:33 PM in reply to billybob
      sound like my experience-
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