MANKATO — Police are reminding people to lock their vehicles and remove valuables after an uptick in theft from vehicle reports across Mankato in recent weeks.

Since July 1, the Mankato Department of Public Safety has processed 72 reports of thefts from vehicles or tampering with vehicles, Cmdr. Dan Schisel said. That’s 16 more reports than the same time frame last year.

Schisel said members of his department also have noticed a jump in people reporting their vehicle had been entered, but the callers opted not to file a formal police report.

Vehicles are being stolen from or entered throughout all areas of the city, Schisel said. During the most recent weekend, the reports were concentrated in the hilltop and east side of the city.

Most of the incidents involved vehicles that were not locked or had open windows.

The commander said drivers can make themselves less of a target by securing their vehicles and parking in well-lit areas.

Drivers also should remove or hide valuables. That includes power cords for electronics, Schisel said, because the cords suggest to thieves that electronics might also be in the vehicle.

The Department of Public Safety is asking citizens to call 911 if they see any suspicious activity. Anyone who has captured images of a potential suspect on security video also is asked to contact police.

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