May 14, 2001 11:00 pm

About a dozen vehicles parked in La Grande over the past week have had items stolen from them. Items lifted include stereo systems, cell phones, purses, backpacks, change, and in one case, the keys left in the ignition.

Its a hard case for police to crack for one reason.

None of the vehicles had been locked, police said. The thieves literally reached in and grabbed.

There has been no vandalism to any of the vehicles, said La Grande Police Lt. Derick Reddington. All had unlocked doors or open windows.

The vehicles have been gone through by someone or a group of people while parked in driveways or at curbside.

Police have noticed, Reddington said, that fewer people have been leaving porch lights on at night, perhaps trying to conserve electricity. But the darkness makes it more attractive for thieves, he warned.

Officers have made arrests in some car thefts and are working on more, Reddington said. We know theres another group out there.

By 8:15 this morning, no new thefts from vehicles had been reported, the first morning in several that this was the case. Because of the rain, most windows were rolled up Monday night.

But the most important thing in bringing an end to this recent rash of theft from cars is also the


People have got to help us out by locking their vehicles, Reddington said.