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Four cars stolen in two years from Aurora family

Posted: 10:27 PM, Aug 03, 2018
Updated: 2018-08-04 16:54:38Z

AURORA  -- Loading five kids into a car just got even harder for Melissa Connor because her car, a 2015 BMW, was stolen this week out of the driveway at their home on the west side of Aurora.

"I came out Monday morning, and it was gone," said Connor, who said it was an all too familiar feeling.

Less than a week before, her husband's car was also stolen in front of their home. Police found that car a few hours later in a nearby Walmart parking lot.

"It was obvious someone just dumped it," said Connor.  

Bad luck? We're just getting started.

We first met the Connor family in 2016, covering a story after — believe it or not — someone had stolen both of their cars from their driveway.

Four cars stolen in less than two years.

"I have to start uncovering why this is happening and why they're doing this," said Connor, who said they always lock the cars, remove garage door openers and lock the garage.

She says she and her husband have nice cars because they are realtors, and she believes her neighborhood near Highway 225 and Parker Road is being targeted.

"The night after my car was stolen, I could hear our neighbor's dogs going nuts," she said. "I could see a car going down the street very slowly, and a man walking next to it trying different car doors. They saw me, and he jumped in the car and took off." 

In Aurora, car thefts are up 18 percent so far in 2018 compared to the same time period last year. A month ago, the Aurora police chief spoke of the trend, saying it's not just a problem in Aurora — it's statewide.

"Part of the problem, unfortunately, is they're not getting a lot of jail time, so those stolen vehicles are often committed by repeat offenders," said Aurora Police Chief Nick Metz.

"I just came out one morning, and it was gone," said Curt Cowles, who lives across the street from the Connors and whose car was also stolen from his driveway, and later found, within the last year. "They tore out the transmission and hot-wired it. I don't know how they got in because I always lock it."

Police may have an idea. At Connor's house this week, they say the thieves left behind "jiggle keys" or "shaved keys" that can be used to pick locks and open car doors.

"I want people to know that even if you lock your cars, they now use keys," said Connor, who said the fourth stolen car is the last straw, and they are planning to move before their rental car can be stolen. "Because it's not safe and because our cars keep getting stolen and we don't feel protected."