Vehicle Thefts Up in Amarillo - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

06.04.07

Vehicle Thefts Up in Amarillo

"It's happening all over town, everywhere from north to south, east to west," says Sgt. Randy TenBrink, with the Amarillo Police Department "It's happening all over town, everywhere from north to south, east to west," says Sgt. Randy TenBrink, with the Amarillo Police Department
"Please take the keys out of the car shut the motor off, lock the door when you leave the car," says TenBrink "Please take the keys out of the car shut the motor off, lock the door when you leave the car," says TenBrink

If you drive -- thieves are eyeing your ride.

Vehicle thefts are on the rise in Amarillo.

According to police, within the first five months of 2007, crooks have stolen 560 vehicles...

Up 100 from this time last year.

In a lot of the cases thieves are making an easy escape by a simple mistake... you may make.

Well 360 of those vehicles were stolen because the drivers... left their keys in the vehicle at places just like this...

Driver after driver...

Pulling up... and pumping up.

You may not know it, but thieves are watching.

"It's happening all over town, everywhere from north to south, east to west," says Sgt. Randy TenBrink, with the Amarillo Police Department.

Within 25 minutes we spotted four drivers who left their key in the ignition. They went to go pay for something at a gas station, they were only gone for a few minutes, but thats all the time it takes for a thief to steal your ride.

"I left it off and the keys in there."

"i'm in a hurry so i just left my keys in the car," says Malissa Clayton.

This woman not only did that... but...

"I left my son."

And she hasn't been the only one.

"On two occasions we actually had children left in the car when the vehicle was stolen, so thats really dangerous ... what you're doing by leaving the keys in your car, is providing a crook a way to get away ... more of them are being used in robberies, burglaries, thefts, and we're finding them in really severe motor vehicle wrecks where the person leaves the scene," says TenBrink.

That's why police don't want you to leave your keys in your vehicle.

"I really wasn't thinking normally im like people are all around but you never know, anyone can just take off."

"I'll probably be more aware of it now."

"Please take the keys out of the car shut the motor off, lock the door when you leave the car," says TenBrink.

It is against the law to leave your car running... and walk away.

Police say they'll start citing drivers... if these type of theft cases continue to soar.

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