Recent car thefts reminder to lock cars

JACKSON, Wyo. — They almost got a brand new truck, a drift boat, and guns.

Technology bested them. Teton County Sheriff’s Office arrested two men and one woman Friday night on several counts of theft and conspiracy after GPS technology in the new truck they were trying to steal gave away their position.

Sheriff Deputy Clay Platt said the trio — a 24-year-old man, 22-year-old man, and 20-year-old woman — were specifically looking for unlocked cars to steal. It’s an easy target in trustworthy Jackson, where people often leave their cars unlocked and even their keys in them. The trio hit the jackpot: they found a 2019 Ford F150, complete with a drift boat and trailer hitched to it. The keys were in the truck. They seized the opportunity.

The owner of the truck quickly realized it had been stolen, Platt said. Thanks to a GPS tracking app, he was able to call dispatch and give them his truck’s locations. A sheriff’s deputy caught the two men at Highway 22 and 390. The woman drove by in a separate car a few minutes later, and officers had reasonable cause to suspect she was involved, Platt said. Sure enough, they found stolen property from the truck in her car.

Both men have been charged with grand theft of a motor vehicle, felony conspiracy, and possession of stolen property. The woman has been charged with conspiracy, accessory, and possession of stolen property.

This is the third case of auto theft in roughly a month, Platt said. The cases aren’t connected, but they have one critical component in common: all three vehicles were unlocked with the keys inside.

“Typical Jackson,” Platt said.

Platt comes from the Dallas area, and would never dream of not locking his car. But things are different here. People assume “that everyone has good intentions,” Platt said. It’s a nice thought, but it’s not always true.

Platt encourages residents to lock not just their cars but also their front doors.

“One of these days, people are going to figure it out,” he said.

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