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Stolen vehicles prompts Bemidji police to warn owners about leaving keys in vehicles

BEMIDJI – Five vehicles have been stolen in the past five days, prompting the Bemidji Police Department to issue a warning to owners Thursday.

“In each of these cases, the ignition keys were left in the unlocked vehicle,” Police Chief Mike Mastin said in a news release. “Local law enforcement is reminding vehicle owners to remove keys from vehicles when parked and to not leave vehicles running while unattended.”

City ordinance prohibits leaving keys in unattended vehicles, regardless of whether the vehicle is turned on or not, the release said.

Mastin said car owners can assist law enforcement – both police and the Beltrami County Sheriff’s Office – in stopping the “recent surge in motor vehicle thefts.”

In addition, anyone with information regarding the current stolen vehicles are encouraged to contact law enforcement.