Lincoln Police report string of car thefts on Tuesday

(Lincoln, NE) -- An investigation is underway following a string of stolen vehicle reports in Lincoln on Tuesday.

Lincoln Police say around 4:30 Tuesday afternoon, officers were called to the ACE Hardware near 27th and F streets for a report of an auto theft. Police say the victim told officers that someone had just tried to take his 2012 Acura, valued at $13,000, which was left running and unlocked in the parking lot. Investigators say the suspect(s) crashed the Acura into a parked pickup truck before fleeing the lot on foot. LPD says their investigation revealed an unknown number of parties arrived in a stolen 2007 VW Jetta. The Jetta, valued at $5,500, was originally reported stolen from NW 6th & West Butler around 9:45 Tuesday morning. Police say the VW Jetta had also been left running and unattended to warm up.

Police say the stolen VW parked next to the Acura when the suspect, described as a dark complected male, wearing dark clothing, roughly 16-21 years old, got into the Acura. Investigators say that's when the victim sees this from inside the store and runs out to the parking lot as his vehicle is leaving. Police say the suspect then crashes into a 1997 Ford Pickup, flees SB on foot before getting back into the stolen VW. Damage to the Ford pickup estimated at $2,500.

LPD says then just before 5:30 Tuesday night, police were called to the Pho Factory near 26th and W streets on another auto theft and accident. Police say a 38-year-old victim said he left his vehicle, a white 2011 GMC Acadia valued at $25,000, running while he went inside the business. Investigators say inside the vehicle were his three children and their grandmother, all sitting in the back seat of the vehicle. Police say two suspects, described only as males in their 20’s with facemasks, got into the vehicle and started to drive away apparently not realizing the vehicle was occupied. LPD say the grandmother yelled at them, which caused them to crash into the building. Police say the suspects then exited the vehicle and fled northbound on foot. Damage to the building estimated at $8,000.

Then just after 6:30, LPD says officers were called to SJ’s Smoke Shop, located at 31st and O Street, on another auto theft. Police say at that scene, a 31-year-old victim said he left a red 2015 Chrysler 200 ,valued at $9,000, running in the parking lot while he went inside. Investigators say while inside, someone took the vehicle and fled. Officers spoke with another customer who observed three teenage males in the parking lot, all wearing dark hoodies with the hoods up, and saw one of them get in the vehicle and leave eastbound on ‘O’ Street.

LPD says just before 7:30 Tuesday night, the stolen VW was located near 30th & Apple.

Lincoln Police say the investigations are ongoing and they are asking anyone with information to contact the Lincoln Police Department at 402-441-6000 or if they wish to remain anonymous can call Crime Stoppers at 402-475-3600. LPD is also reminding residents to lock their vehicles when unattended and to never leave the vehicle running when unoccupied.

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