Warning amidst influx in delivery driver car thefts


URBANA, Ill. (WCIA) — As more people place to-go food orders during the pandemic, there has been an increase in delivery drivers’ cars being stolen because of one common mistake.

Authorities say it’s because people are leaving their cars on and the key in the ignition while they run into restaurants to get the food orders. In one case last week, a delivery driver went to pick up food on Green Street and left the car running to go inside to get the order. Two 14-year-olds were arrested and in court after stealing that car, leading police on a high speed chase, and crashing it outside the Urbana Country Club.

Champaign County State’s Attorney Julia Rietz says this is becoming a trend and she is prosecuting thieves because of it. “Juveniles are watching and waiting outside fast food restaurants and delivery drivers who work for Grubhub, Doordash, or Uber are in a hurry. So they pull up and leave their car running and these juveniles are taking advantage of that situation and stealing the cars.”

Champaign Police have taken reports of more than 100 car thefts so far this year. That number is up since last year.

As a helpful reminder to avoid this, delivery drivers should turn off their car and lock it while picking up orders, even if it’s just going to take a couple minutes to run in and out.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.