Citing uptick in car thefts, Ladue police remind residents to keep vehicles secure

LADUE, Mo. – Car clouting and break-in cases have been reported throughout the St. Louis area. But one community is seeing something unusual: car thefts.

Ladue Police Captain Darin McClure reported five vehicles stolen in the past month.

“It’s gotten our attention,” he said.

In each of the cases, the cars were left unlocked, and the keys were inside.

Police recovered all three vehicles – three in East St. Louis, one in north St. Louis, and one in north St. Louis County.

“I don’t know if you want to call it joyriding, or if you just want to call it getting out from where they were at,” McClure said.

It is unclear if the cases are connected.

While the motive might be unclear, he said it sends a message about safety and security.

“It really makes you think, what can we do to help our residents out?” he asked. “And the way we can help our residents out is to get out the message, to please lock your cars, and if you hear anything at night, see anything in the neighborhood, that you don’t recognize, give us a call. That’s why we’re here.”

Key fobs, often found with newer model vehicles, have been left in vehicles, making the job easy for thieves.

McClure said checking a vehicle at night makes all the difference. Locked vehicles – ones where valuables are not in plain sight – are left alone.

“We’ve had incidents where there’d be two or three cars in the driveway. Two were locked, and one was open. They’d go through the unlocked car. The other two that were locked? Wasn’t touched,” he said.