Flagstaff police are reporting five auto thefts in the span of six hours early Monday morning.
The cars were stolen in different neighborhoods from Sunnyside to north of Flagstaff Medical Center between 2 a.m. and 8 a.m.
Each car was stolen while they were being warmed up with the keys in the ignition after the driver had gone back inside their residence.
Police said the thefts were committed by multiple people and did not rule out the possibility that they were connected.
Three of the five cars have been recovered and one arrest has been made while another suspect was caught but the owner of the vehicle did not want to press charges, according to police.
Flagstaff Police Public Information Officer, Sgt. Cory Runge said that while an increase in car thefts is common this time of year, the number stolen in one day was an anomaly
“We see an increase in thefts like this once it gets cold, but normally we don’t get five in one day,” Runge said.
Cody Little, who lives on the 1400 block of North Rim Drive, was getting ready to take his daughter to school when he thought he should warm his car.
When he came back outside with his kids his car was gone.
“I went outside and thought it was weird the car was gone,” Little said. “I thought it was a joke.”
Little later found someone driving his car on East Cedar Avenue. Little called police and they recovered the stolen Toyota 4runner, abandoned a block from his house.
“My wife got a call from the police saying that the people who stole my car dropped it off one street up from my house,” Little said. “When I saw the people who were stole my car I yelled at them that I wanted my Forerunner back.”
Police have not arrested the suspects who allegedly stole Little’s car.
Little said the people who stole his car were a Caucasian man and woman with the man wearing a black hoodie and the woman wearing a gray sweatshirt.
Auto thefts were also reported in the 2000 block of North Crescent Drive, the 5700 block of West Highway 89, according to a police list of incident reports and on Northeast Street.