Woman arrested for pickup theft

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A Meeker woman was arrested at a Craig apartment complex Wednesday after allegedly stealing a pickup from her grandmother.

Raelene Clairmont, 19, was charged with aggravated motor vehicle theft.

Police said Clairmont reportedly stole the vehicle from Meeker. The theft was reported to the Rio Blanco Sheriff's Department who then notified police in surrounding areas.

Craig Police Sgt. Bill Leonard said officers were told to be on the lookout for the truck. Police saw a vehicle that fit the description pulling into the Columbine Apartments and pulled it over.

After running the information, police confirmed this was the vehicle that was reported stolen.

Clairmont was arrested without incident and taken to the Moffat Count Jail. The vehicle was released to its owner, Leonard said.

This vehicle theft comes on the heels of another stolen pickup.On July 2, Zachary Harris, 24, allegedly stole a $35,000 pickup and wrecked it.

Vehicle theft, Leonard said, is an ever-growing problem in Craig.

He said Craig Police have seen an increased incidence of vehicle theft this summer.

Most of the vehicle thefts happen when people leave their keys in an open car.

"When you leave it unlocked the opportunity is there," Leonard said. "They are more likely to get stolen."

Another reason Leonard said vehicles are stolen is because cars are left running with the doors unlocked.

"It is a traffic violation if people leave their keys in the car with the engine on," he said. "But more importantly, you can lose your car."

He also said cars that are stolen can often end up in surrounding states. This can be expensive, he said, because most times insurance companies will not pay for the car to be returned.

The best bet to keep your car safe is use common sense, he said. "If you leave it unlocked you take the chance," he said. "The best bet is to lock your car and take the keys."

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