WATERLOO, Iowa (KWWL)- Waterloo Police have seen a spike in car thefts over the past few days. The department has received several reports from the area surrounding West Ninth Street and Mitchell Avenue.
Major Joe Leibold said they are looking for easy targets like unlocked cars and garages, removing anything they can get their hands on quickly and moving on.
"We have several videos posted online of people randomly checking doors and moving from house to house or from car to car," Leibold said. "They are not trying to kick any doors and at this point. They're just in there easily grab something and get on the move."
It is typically happening in the early hours of the morning. Leibold said they are looking for anything of value like technology, sunglasses, backpacks, or shoes.
On Wednesday, Cedar Valley Crime Stoppers posted videos of the thefts. In them, you can see a man approaching a home. In a separate clip, you can see a man leaving a house with a pile of items in his hands.
Major Leibold said it can be challenging for police to track these crimes because the suspects frequently move around, and people don't always report them to the police.
"I've talked to several people who have said it's happened to them, they took the change out of their change cup, and they just didn't call it in," he said. "We'd encourage them to at least report it online to us."
Leibold said patrol officers are keeping a close eye out for suspicious behavior like people trying to break into cars and asked the public to do the same.
"We've got a couple of officers that are gonna keep track of the reports and try to pin them down on a map and see if we got a pattern," he said.
Anyone with information can call the Waterloo Police Department at 319-291-2515 or Cedar Valley Crime Stoppers at 855-300-TIPS. Tips may also be left online here or by texting the word CEDAR plus the information to CRIMES (274637). A cash reward is available in this case.