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Local 5 - weareiowa.com | Des Moines Local News & Weather | Des Moines, Iowa

Thieves break into abandoned cars left on roads after winter storm

DES MOINES — Did you leave your car on the side of the road after last weekend’s winter storm? If you did, you should check on it as soon as possible. Thi...

DES MOINES — Did you leave your car on the side of the road after last weekend’s winter storm? If you did, you should check on it as soon as possible.

Thieves are taking this opportunity to break into cars and grab whatever they can before you’re able to get it back.

Bailey Smith said her boyfriend was driving her Jeep when they hit black ice and slid into the median. They left the Jeep there for just one night.

When they returned her radio, winter coat and registration were stolen.

Smith said it’s not surprising that no one stopped the thieves from taking her stuff.

“With them being abandoned on the interstate, it kind of looks normal if somebody comes up to it and is maybe grabbing their things out of it,” she said.

The Valley West Corner Store said most people who have to leave their cars forget to lock them up.

If you find yourself in this situation, the best you can do is grab your valuables.

“Grab the essentials. Your phone, your wallet, your purse. Take your keys with you so nobody can take your car,” said Andrew Gilbert, a mechanic at the shop.

If your car is still out on the road, make sure it’s locked up. If you can’t find it where you left it, contact the local police department to find where it is.

Cars left in a ditch or on the side of the road are subject to being towed and ticketed.