Car Thefts On Rise In Klamath Falls

, Written by Lyle Ahrens, Posted: Wed, November 6 2013 at 4:16 PM, Updated: Wed, November 6 2013 at 4:30 PM

If today is an average day, at least one car will be stolen in Klamath County.

Jason Nelson of the 'Crave' Bakery was loading his delivery car one morning...when someone drove off with it.

"It was pretty much unbelievable."  Recalls Nelson.  "I kind of scratched my head, thinking, 'maybe I parked my car somewhere else'.  You never think like something like this would happen to you."

Detective Eric Shepherd of the Klamath County Sheriff's Office says Nelson isn't alone...and that car thefts in Klamath Falls are on the rise.

"Between 10/1 and 11/1, there's been approximately 28 reported stolen cars."  Notes Detective Shepherd.  "Which is almost about one a day."

Nelson reports that his car was found last Thursday in Eureka, California...

"And it was pretty much totaled."

Detective Shepherd points out that most car thefts are 'thefts of opportunity'...

"Cars running, key in the car, extra key laying in plain view, people need a ride."

Shepherd adds that cold mornings provide additional opportunities...

"If you go to start your car, and let it warm up, if you leave the keys in it, and leave it unattended, you're likely to be a victim."

Nelson offers this advice...

"Just be vigilant, and observant.  There was a few people around that I didn't even, it didn't cross my mind - to take an extra look at them, or an extra glance.  So it can really happen to anyone."

Jason's stolen car is beyond repair.

He's now using a new car to deliver his baked goods. 

According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau, there were over 721,000 cars stolen last year in the U.S.

F.B.I. statistics show that there's a car stolen about every 44 seconds.


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About the Author

Lyle Ahrens

KOTI-TV NBC2 reporter Lyle Ahrens moved from Nebraska to Klamath Falls in the late 1970's.  He instantly fell in love with the mountains, the trees and the rivers, and never once regretted the move.

Lyle's job history is quite colorful.  He’s managed a pizza parlor; he’s been a bartender, and a “kiwifruit grader” at an organic orchard in New Zealand.  A Klamath Falls radio station hired Lyle in the mid 90's as a news writer and commercial producer.  In 2004, Lyle joined the KOTI/KOBI news operation.

Lyle notes with pride that he has a big responsibility presenting the Klamath Basin to a wide and varied audience.  "The on-going water crisis has underscored the fact that the people and the issues in the Klamath Basin are every bit as diverse as the terrain.  Winning and keeping the trust of the viewers, as well as the newsmakers, is something I strive for with each story".

When he's not busy reporting the news, Lyle enjoys astronomy, playing guitar, fixing old radios and listening to anything by Sheryl Crow.

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