Police are warning the public that motor vehicle thefts surged in August.
Eighty vehicles were stolen last month, up nearly 60 percent from July, according to police.
In 30 of those cases owners left their car unattended with the engine running or their keys in an unlocked car.
On average, over the last five years, 49 cars are stolen per month in Durham.
While vehicle thefts normally rise in warm months, police are providing the following vehicle theft prevention and safety tips:
▪ Don’t leave your car unlocked
▪ Never leave your car running, especially while it is unattended or unlocked
▪ Do not leave a spare key near your vehicle
▪ Park in your garage or well-lit and highly visible areas whenever possible
▪ Do not leave valuables in your vehicle, but if you must, make sure the items aren’t visible
▪ Use common sense and trust your instincts
Anyone with information about stolen vehicles is asked to call CrimeStoppers at (919) 683-1200. CrimeStoppers pays cash rewards for information leading to arrests in felony cases and callers never have to identify themselves.