SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Thieves don't care less what time of year it is, but the California Highway Patrol does.

That's why the CHP is reminding everyone how to protect their belongings this winter. During winter months, auto theft rises by about 25 percent, according to a recent article on EducatedDriver.org.

CHP officials say there has been a slight increase in car thefts in Sacramento County during winter months and most of those thefts are from owners being careless with locking their cars. So far this winter, there have been nearly 1,800 vehicle thefts in Sacramento County alone.

Here's a breakdown of vehicle thefts in Sacramento County for 2018, provided by the CHP:

JAN: 674      FEB: 544     MAR: 603    APR: 590    MAY: 634

JUN: 604      JUL: 656     AUG: 657     SEP: 584    OCT: 564

NOV: 592     DEC: 657 

According to CHP, vehicle thefts rise in the winter because people start their car then go back inside their homes, leaving their running cars unattended. CHP suggests these tips for everyone to keep in mind this winter:

  • Never leave your keys inside a running and unattended car, even if it's just for a minute. If its cold, dress warm if you have to.
  • Always lock your car.
  • Keep vehicles parked in a well-lit area so that potential thieves don't have the cover of darkness.

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