Student's precious artwork stolen in car theft

VISALIA, Calif.

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Niesen's car, a 2000 green Toyota Tacoma, was stolen last week from her house. In it was most of her artwork from the last year.

Also stolen, some artwork from her classmates, plus more than $1 thousand in art supplies. What's more frustrating, is Niesen was victim to car theft seven years ago and her step-dad also had his car stolen from their driveway two years ago.

Niesen is just one of many recent victims of car theft in Tulare County.

ABC30 is hiding Sergeant Chuck Mosley's face to protect his identity, but the sergeant with the county's auto theft task force says despite a strong decline in auto thefts over all, Tulare County has seen a slight increase in cases over the last few weeks.

Sgt. Chuck Mosley said, "I don't know what specifically the cause is yet but there are certain factors when criminals are released from prison often times they go back to what they know which is car theft."

Mosley says any vehicle can get stolen under the right circumstances and for the right parts. "I can just about guarantee they did not steal that vehicle for the art work they stole it for whatever it was that was on it or in it that they could market in a rapid fashion."

Mosley suggests getting a Club or GPS tracking device to help deter thieves from stealing your car.

For Ashley Niesen, it's not the car but the artwork inside that she wants back more than anything.

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