mall is the riskiest place to leave your car, statistically speaking.
But vehicle thefts and attempts were reported at a number of retail stores in Strongsville last year, and also in residential driveways.
Of the 23 vehicle thefts or attempted thefts reported to Strongsville police in 2011, five were at the mall.
Other locations were , , , Monster Mini Golf, , and .
In residential areas, one report came in from a Whitney Road apartment parking lot and Niagara Drive driveway. Two motorcycles and a motorized scooter were also stolen from neighborhoods.
And three plow trucks were taken from industrial areas.
So is there anywhere your ride is safe?
"Not if they want your car," Detective Lt. John Janowski said. "Usually, a thief is looking for that specific car."
Strongsville Patch reported last week that in what types of vehicles are most often targeted by car thieves -- Hondas, especially older ones.
"Honda parts are easy to use on other cars," Janowski said.
What You Can Do
There are a few ways to thwart a thief, though.
Janowski said installing an after-market alarm is the best way, or at least buying a sticker or flashing interior light that makes it look like your vehicle is alarmed.
Parking close to the store can also help.
"I can't hurt to have more foot traffic going by your car," he said.
But it takes only a few minutes to steal a car, and even though thieves often break a window to get in, the crime typically goes unnoticed by passersby.
Janowski said he believes the number of car thefts from the mall would be higher if not for proactive measures by security and Strongsville police.
"Mall security always has somebody driving around," he said. "And we've got a police presence at the mall, which is always a deterrent."