TRACY -- In 16 days more than 20 cars were stolen in Tracy, according to police.
FOX40 spoke to one owner who had her Honda stolen recently. The stereo was stolen, some car parts were gone and even though the 1996 Honda had seen better days, it’s the car the Tracy teenager worked hard for.
She asked FOX40 to protect her privacy.
“I actually just got the car from … it was a high school graduation gift. I just graduated,” she said Wednesday.
The teen said just two weeks ago her Honda was stolen from West Kavanagh Avenue in Tracy.
“Obviously, I was upset,” the teen said.
The car was found days later. Everything that had been inside the Honda, even a pair of shoes, were gone.
“It’s not right that they’re stealing people’s cars and they stole everything out of the car,” the girl said.
According to the Tracy Police Department, she was one of the many Honda and Ford truck owners whose older vehicles were stolen within the last two months.
“In just 16 days of July we have seen 28 cars, which is a huge increase for our yearly average,” said Tracy Police Crime Prevention Specialist Stephany Valadez.
Valadez told FOX40 the spike in car thefts has concerned the police department. She’s urging owners to protect their valuables.
“Obviously, it starts with clearing your vehicle of any valuables, securing your vehicle, making sure it’s locked even if it’s parked in your driveway,” Valadez said.
She said eventually some car thieves get caught.
Joshua Underwood is now in jail after Valadez said he was spotted messing with a car on West Kavanagh Avenue Tuesday morning.
“There was a stolen vehicle found nearby that officers were able to tie to him and it is believed that he is linked to a lot of these that have been going on in Tracy,” Valadez said.
Officers say Underwood is also suspected of trying to steal a forklift Tuesday night.
Investigators say Eric Chester crashed into a wall, where it was determined the tow truck he was in was stolen out of San Francisco.
“Somebody has to own up to their actions,” the teenage victim said.
As for the teen, although her Honda is back, she’s ready for an upgrade.
“No, I’m actually going to sell it,” she said.
Officers also recommend using a steering wheel lock on older cars to prevent theft.