Cedar Rapids Police finding the majority of stolen vehicles

Cedar Rapids Police are finding nearly all vehicles that have been stolen.
Published: Aug. 25, 2022 at 4:58 PM CDT
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - The Cedar Rapids Police Department is recovering nearly every vehicle that goes missing this summer.

From May 1 to July 31, the department took 121 stolen vehicle reports. In that same time period, they recovered 110 vehicles, or nearly 91 percent of reports. Some of those were cars that were stolen from other cities, but for the most part, they were local. The numbers show for nearly every car that goes missing, one is found.

Rennie Sarchett, of Cedar Rapids, recently had a car taken, she says it all happened so fast.

”My husband had taken it to work. He had about an hour left in the day had taken a late break and was walking back in and realized you know what I think I forgot my keys in the car and thought to himself you know what, I’ve got an hour left I’m right in front of the building,” Sarchett said.

But, someone took the opportunity to take the car right out of his work parking lot. It was all caught on camera.

“They were able to capture the, a person walking out of the hotel, walking across the street and got in and took it,” Sarchett said.

Just days later, an officer found the car in an apartment parking lot with everything inside gone.

“I’m a realtor, so I had some lock boxes taken, luckily with no keys or anything inside of it. We had some you know tools, we had you know like an air compressor, some different signs, things like that,” Sarchett said.

The officer who found the car, Jacob Paulsen, happened to be a family friend and knew the car was missing.

Police Chief Wayne Jerman says it’s become more common for officers to find stolen vehicles.

“They do a great job spotting them and again making these recoveries, so it’s due to very progressive and proactive police work,” Jerman said.

While Sarchett said police haven’t arrested anyone for stealing her car, she’s grateful it was found so quickly.

“It really kind of shows a level of care I think about the people around us and the things that sometimes happen you know even in the best of cities,” Sarchett said.

Now the family is being extra vigilant about locking their cars. Jerman said the overwhelming majority of stolen cars were left unlocked or with keys inside.