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Police investigate rise in number of vehicle thefts in western Lancaster Township

Investigators believe someone is discovering vehicles unlocked with the keys inside and taking them on "joy rides," according to Manheim Township Police.

LANCASTER COUNTY, Pa. — Manheim Township Police are investigating after they say they've been receiving a higher-than-normal number of vehicle theft reports in a western portion of Lancaster Township over the last two weeks.

According to police, five residents reported having their vehicles stolen. 

The areas affected were:

  • 1700 block of Judie Lane
  • 800 block of Hershey Avenue
  • 600 block of Wyncroft Lane
  • 1300 block of Atkins Avenue
  • 1700 block of Wilderness Avenue

Police say that all but one of the alleged thefts occurred during the overnight or early morning hours. All but one of the vehicles were located a short time later in the same general area, police say.

Investigators believe these vehicles are being used for “joy rides” and are not being taken to be dismantled for parts, according to police.

In each of the incidents, police say, the victims' vehicles were unlocked with the key inside, or the victim left a second vehicle containing the key to the stolen vehicle unlocked.

Police remind residents to take the keys to their vehicles with them when they are not using it, and they should remove any valuables and lock their cars.

Officers are increased patrols in the affected areas, according to police.

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