Car theft in Rockford has increased by almost 19 percent over the past year, according to Rockford police. And that means tough times for those whose cars have been taken.
Two cars stolen in two nights, that's the story of one employee and the owner of Gerry's Pizza on East State Street.
It was a normal night of work for Paul Langley, he was closing up for the night at Gerry's Pizza, he started his car in this parking lot to warm it up, went in said his goodbye's and,
"Within a couple minutes, I came back outside and it was gone. It was that quick."
But that's only half the story. "My car was taken around 2 a.m. and the following night they came and took another one. So whoever is doing this is not shy about doing it," says Langley.
Rockford police report that there have been a few stolen cars around the East State Street area over the past few weeks. Langley says, "From what the officers have told me, we've had six vehicles stolen with in two hours in this area, that's six in 2 hours."
But Langley says he's learned his lesson. "I will never leave my car running for any reason. I don't care how cold it is."
Police say this time of year is very popular for this kind of theft to take place. It's a common occurrence to let you're car run to warm it up in the cold weather. But it's makes a car an easy target. And not only that, it's illegal. You can get a ticket for leaving your vehicle unattended while it's running.