'Grinch' visiting unlocked Medford cars, police warn

A rash of thefts from parked cars has Medford police urging motorists to lock doors when leaving their vehicles.

Sixteen reports of stolen cell phones, wallets and CDs have poured into the department in recent days, said Lt. Bob Hansen.

"The Grinch is out doing some shopping too," said Hansen.

All but one of the cars was unlocked, according to reports. The driver of that car had locked his vehicle but had also left a window partially open, allowing the thief to reach inside and open the door, he said.

The property loss in these cases is not as significant as the potential for identity theft, Hansen said.

"Once they've got your wallet, they've got your identity, your bank card" and a host of other private information, he said.

Hansen said the thieves have hit throughout Medford. The majority have occurred on the west side of the city, but police believe multiple "Grinches" are out looking for opportunities.

"They wander around, find an unlocked car and rifle through it," said Hansen. "They don't like to break glass because that makes noise and attracts attention."

Thieves have been known to come back to the same car more than once, he said.

— Sanne Specht

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