Press release from the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office:

On June 14, 2021, at about 8 p.m., Humboldt County Sheriff’s deputies were dispatched to a residence on Willow Way in Willow Creek for the report of an attempted vehicle theft.

While en route to the residence, the male victim recontacted law enforcement advising that a female suspect who attempted to steal the victim’s vehicle had fled on foot and was walking in the area of Highway 299 and Country Club Road. Deputies located and detained the female suspect, who was later identified as 22-year-old Tiffany Jane Lilly.

Upon further investigation, deputies learned that the victim’s vehicle was parked in his driveway and was briefly left unattended with the keys in the ignition as the victim went inside the residence to collect items. The victim located Lilly in the driver seat of the vehicle upon exiting the residence. The victim confronted Lilly, who then attempted to start the vehicle. According to the victim, the vehicle failed to start and Lilly fled on foot with the vehicle’s keys. The victim reportedly chased after Lilly and was able to retrieve the stolen keys.

Lilly was arrested and booked into the Humboldt County Correctional Facility on charges of attempted vehicle theft (PC 664/10851(a)) and disorderly conduct while under the influence (PC 647(f)).

A significant number of vehicles stolen out of Humboldt County are taken with their very own ignition key. This is often the result of unsuspecting victims leaving their vehicles running while unattended or leaving a spare key or FOB inside the vehicle. Protect your vehicle from theft by following these easy tips:

  1. Always lock your vehicle doors, even in your driveway, and take your keys with you. Remove hidden keys from your vehicle
  2. Never leave your vehicle running unattended (this includes while loading tools or equipment, or warming your vehicle on a cold day).
  3. Remove all property of perceived value from the interior of your vehicle that can be seen from the outside. Also remove garage door openers, key cards, and house or work keys from your car.
  4. Consider adding a motion light and/or camera in the area where the vehicle is parked at your residence or workplace if you work after dark. Trim back trees and bushes that block the view of your vehicle from your house.

Anyone with information about this case or related criminal activity is encouraged to call the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office at (707) 445-7251 or the Sheriff’s Office Crime Tip line at (707) 268-2539.