Spike in car crimes: If you want to thwart thieves, take your keys
Typical car thefts have been on a steady decline across the nation, according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau. But car thefts and break-ins due to keys being left in vehicles are spiking.
There were more than 78,000 vehicles stolen with the keys still inside in 2017. By 2019, that number increased by almost 6,000. The trend seems to keep going up.
Ramapo Detective Lt. Chris Franklin says the department has “definitely seen an increase in the larceny of vehicles as well as the larceny from vehicles probably over the last six to 12 months.”
He says the solution is simple.
“It seems simple but sometimes the message doesn't get across. First and foremost, lock your vehicle at any point – whether you're leaving your vehicle for a minute or an hour.”
The Ramapo Police Department and the district attorney’s office says there are a few other tips to follow to make sure you're not a victim of one of these crimes.
- Always take your key fob with you
- Don't leave your valuables inside your vehicle
- Park in well-lit areas.
Anyone who sees any suspicious activity should call their local police department. Rockland County residents can use the RocklandCo DA app to submit an anonymous tip.