The Weld County Sheriff's Office is warning motorists about auto prowls and thefts in and around Interstate 25, especially in the southern part of the county.

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The crimes have involved vehicles that were broken down and left on or near I-25 by their owners, according to a post on the agency's Facebook page.

According to the post:

"Deputies responded to two such calls in the last week. The first involved theft from a vehicle that was left on the side of the East I-25 Frontage Road near Weld County Road 6, east of Erie. The owner said his car broke down on Sept. 4. When he returned two days later to recover it, tools and a radio had been stolen.
The second theft occurred Saturday on I-25 near Colo. 119 in Del Camino. The owner of the vehicle in that case said his car broke down earlier that day. When he returned there were two Latino men inside. They fled the scene when they saw the owner approaching. The owner later realized his tools had been stolen.
Deputies were able to locate the suspect vehicle in the second incident, which is a silver 2005 Toyota 4Runner with Colorado license plate 057 LUB, but were forced to stop a high-speed pursuit due to public safety concerns.''
The post offered the following advice to motorists traveling on the interstate:
"The Weld County Sheriff’s Office wants the public to be aware this type of crime is occurring and is encouraging residents to consider taking the following steps should your car breakdown on or near the interstate:
• Lock your vehicle.
• Don’t leave valuables or high-ticket items out in the open.
• Take your possessions with you if you’re forced to leave your vehicle.
• Have the vehicle towed to your home, a mechanic or secure location rather than leaving it on the side of the highway.
• Stay with your vehicle until help arrives.''

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