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Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Police: You can help stop car thieves

MERRIMACK – Police are cautioning car owners to lock their vehicles and take their keys with them as police investigate a spate of car thefts, three of which occurred in the past five days.

“The common denominator in all of the … thefts is that the owners left their keys in their unlocked vehicles,” police wrote in a statement.

Police said the most recent incident, on Sunday, involved two stolen cars, both taken from the same Nashua neighborhood. They said the drivers of both cars sped off when a Merrimack officer attempted to stop them on Daniel Webster Highway.

The officer was able to copy the license plate of one vehicle and get a description of the other, police said, which led to the fact they’d been stolen out of Nashua.

On April 11, police investigating an abandoned vehicle in the woods off Mast Road found that it, too, had been stolen from a Nashua residence.

Another stolen vehicle was discovered in March, police said, when an officer investigating a suspicious vehicle parked in a residential neighborhood found a man in the back seat and tied him to other suspects they said were involved in a series of vehicle break-ins.

That car also was stolen from Nashua, police said, as was a vehicle Merrimack officers pursued in January. In that case, police said, the driver was apprehended in Nashua after crashing the vehicle.

Calling the rash of thefts “an unfortunate sign of the times,” police say residents can nevertheless help prevent many of the incidents.

“Police ask that all citizens take their keys with them … and lock their vehicles when parked overnight or left unattended,” the statement says. Also, “do not leave valuables in the car.”