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Police say there is no need for concern, but advise citizens to stay vigilant

While the number of reported motor vehicle thefts was up in the past 12 months compared to year-long periods before that, police say there's no reason for alarm.

Newberg-Dundee Police Department Capt. Jeff Kosmicki said a total of 33 car thefts were reported to the department between Feb. 1, 2016 and Feb. 28, 2017.

That's up from 21 in a similar period from February 2015 through February 2016 (which slightly overlaps with the most recent data Kosmicki provided) and 18 the year before that. PMG FILE - Newberg-Dundee Police Department records show a total of 33 car thefts were reported to the department between Feb. 1, 2016, and Feb. 28, 2017. That's up from 21 in a similar period from February 2015 through February 2016.

The number of car thefts in the latest period showed an uptick in the winter months of 2016-2017: five in November, four in December, one in January and six in February, making up nearly half of the total for that year-long period.

The south side of town between First and Ninth streets saw a slightly higher concentration of motor vehicle thefts over the past year, but otherwise Kosmicki said the number of incidents were relatively spread out.

Although he saw no reason for residents to be concerned about these numbers, he nonetheless advised they "should certainly be paying attention to their surrounding and take precautions."

He gave a few a tips for drivers to keep their cars from being stolen: always keep the car locked, even while driving; when parked, never leave the keys in the car and close all windows; never leave the car alone while its running; don't leave valuables in plain sight; be cautious about parking at night and try to park it in well-lit areas; and never keep the title in the car.

He also recommended drivers install an anti-theft system in the car, noting that thieves are less likely to take a car if it's easily found and insurers offer discounts for cars with these systems.

He also recommended that drivers call the police if they see anything that seems suspicious.

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