VIGO CO, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — On Sunday, July 10, a juvenile broke into four vehicles in southern Vigo County. Cash and a gun were stolen.

The gun was sold and has not been recovered by authorities.

In 2022, from January 1 to July 13, there has been 436 theft from vehicle incidents. That’s up 22 from last year during the same six-month span.

Theft from a vehicle can also qualify as stealing a catalytic converter.

Below are numbers regarding car break-ins, according to the Vigo County Sheriff, John Plasse. The numbers represent the county, city of Terre Haute and West Terre Haute combined.

2018: 287

2019: 340

2020: 284

2021: 414

2022: 436

Plasse said possible contributing factors to the crime include inflation and the rising cost of items.

“Anytime you have any kind of valuable, please don’t leave them in the vehicle. Even if you lock it, it’s not that hard to get in if someone sees something really valuable. They’ll break the window or pry the door,” He added.

Theft is usually a level six felony which carries a fine and possible jail time.

However, Plasse said it also depends on the offender’s record. Due to overcrowding at the jail and juvenile center, offenders aren’t held very long compared to someone who would be a chronic offender.

To stay safe, drivers are asked to lock their cars, park in a well-lit area and be vigilant of their neighborhoods.

“You know who is supposed to be there and who isn’t. Call us and we will investigate,” Plasse said.

Resident, Florence Tshimananga, said she feels relatively safe downtown. However, she’d like to see improvements like adding security cameras.

“We could do better just increasing the overall safety for the residents that are in Terre Haute. I’ve had some friends who have had some encounters that make them feel unsafe to go outside,” She said.