Unlocked, Idling Cars Tempt Wintertime Thieves

Whether in your driveway or at a corner gas station, Lexington Police say it's never a good idea to leave your car unlocked with the engine running. More to the point, it's illegal. Detective Jeremiah Davis, with Lex PD's auto theft and commercial burglary unit, says motorists need to resist the temptation of starting up their cars and leaving them unattended while they warm up.

"We see these across all neighborhoods in Lexington. There is no set pattern or one neighborhood that sees more than the other. However, the way we look at it; you wouldn't leave the most valuable possession you have, your home, financially unsecure, or leave the key in the front door when you went away on vacation, so why would you leave the second most expensive possession sitting with the key in it ready for a thief to take off and do as they please?"

Detective Davis says it happens more often than you think; especially at a place like the corner gas station.

"A lot of folks think I'll just run in real quick and grab a few items that I need an be back and never have to shut off my vehicle, and we do see every year several thefts where folks will come from around the corner of the gas station, hop in the vehicle and drive away as the individual is paying for their items at the cash register."

Detective Davis adds that car thieves can feel like they won the lottery if they find spare vehicle keys in your glove box. The Division of Police has investigated more than 30 car thefts since January.