Sheriff: Public should be wary after car thefts

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Posted: Friday, September 13, 2019 6:00 am

Traill County Sheriff Steve Hunt has issued a reminder to residents to lock their vehicles and report any suspicious activity to authorities after two recent vehicle thefts in the city.

Authorities received a report that a Pontiac Grand Prix was stolen from behind a home in southeast Hillsboro Monday, Aug. 26.

Police in West Fargo recovered the Grand Prix following a police chase that ended when the vehicle crashed into a light pole.

The driver denied stealing the vehicle but told investigators that he knew the car had been stolen, according to Hunt.

Roughly a week and a half later, a 2011 black Chevrolet Silverado K2500 pickup with North Dakota Bison license plate No. 25310 was reported stolen from a farmer’s beet field east of Hillsboro High School’s football field.

That theft occurred sometime between 10:30 p.m., Friday, Sept. 7 and 1 a.m. Saturday.

Authorities had not recovered the pickup by the time the Banner went to press Thursday.

Hunt said authorities have not ruled out that the recent car thefts were connected.

“I wouldn’t be surprised if they were (connected), but at the same time nothing says that they have to be,” he said Monday.

Authorities were notified that a passenger on an Amtrak train passing through Hillsboro was forced to exit the train in the city prior to the second car theft.

It’s possible the passenger’s forced departure is unrelated to the car theft but deputies are investigating, Hunt said.

“We’re looking into the matter as best we can. It’s ironic that those two things would happen around the same time,” he said.

Hunt encouraged residents to pull their keys from vehicles and lock their car doors to prevent further thefts.

“Back in the day in Traill County, you could park your car and leave the keys in it,” he said. “I know it’s convenient, but times have changed.

“You have to pull your keys and lock your car. If it’s valuable, lock it up.”

Anyone with information regarding the recent vehicle thefts is asked to contact the Traill County Sheriff’s Office at 701-636-4510.

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