Missoula Car Break-Ins Spike, Vehicle Documents Targeted
The Missoula Police Department has seen a surge in car break-ins. Public information Officer Travis Welsh said there's something common in the thefts that is especially strange.
"We're taking vehicle brake-in reports," Welsh said. "Some of those are including reports from vehicle owners that their vehicle registration and proof of insurance is being taken, along with other items. Sometimes it's just the documents by themselves. We've noticed it for the past two or three weeks. This is not something that's typical that we see."
Welsh says police are worried that the information being stolen may be part of an identity theft attempt.
the idea of vehicle doc being taken as part of a theft were nearly unheard of," Welsh said. "Our concern is that there may be a way for people to utilize that information on there to engage in identity theft, or perhaps to find out home addresses of the vehicles owner for the possibility of committing a crime at another time."
The Missoula County Sheriff’s office was asked if they had noticed a similar trend, Spokeswoman Brenda Basset says there have been recent break ins, but the theft of vehicle documents is not a trend they have noticed.