GUILFORD COUNTY, N.C. -- The Guilford County Sheriff’s Office said that abandoned cars and their license plates are becoming a big target for thieves.
"I think a lot of people are unaware that this crime occurs,” Cpl. R.D. Seals said. "Their vehicle will break down on the side of the interstate and they will leave it there. Sometimes they'll come back immediately and make repairs. Sometimes for whatever reason it could be a couple of days or weeks or so."
That may not be the best idea. Three cars have already been stolen from the side of the interstate within the past month.
"It's just as simple as them coming in with a flatbed trailer or a tow truck and just loading up the vehicle,” Seals said. “Being on the interstate it's very easy with them being a main artery through the county to be in another county or another state within a couple of hours."
They’ve also receive two reports of missing license plates from vehicles left stranded.
"A lot of times we'll see tags being taken off broken down vehicles and then placed on other vehicles to commit other crimes," Seals said.
Authorities are encouraging you to take your tags off of your car before leaving it. They also ask that you keep all valuables out of sight and make sure the doors are locked.
"Maybe leave a note on your dashboard on how you can be reached. If one of our officers comes out and checks on the vehicle and if we find something suspicious, how we can contact you,” Seals said.
Officials said that the key areas they’ve seen it happen are N.C. 62 and Interstate 85.