Merced sees spike in auto theft cases

Authorities in Merced are warning about an increase in auto thefts. The Merced Police Department says it's seen a 44-percent spike in car theft cases compared to the same time last year. It also says nearly half of vehicle thefts are due to driver error, such as leaving keys in the car.

Officers are now reminding residents to help protect their property. That includes locking the doors, parking in well-lit areas and never leaving valuables in plain sight.
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