LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) -
Lexington Police are calling it a crime of opportunity. The latest victim in Masterson Station says she considers herself lucky but now has new concerns.
"Now I know, they know where I live. I probably won't sleep for a few more nights because I will be paranoid," says Tansy Mullins, a Lexington resident.
Mullins woke up Tuesday morning to find someone stole her Honda, "I think at first I was just in shock. I was like okay, what's going on is someone playing a joke on me? Where's my car"?
Mullins admits she made things pretty easy for a thief, "What I think happened was, I must have accidentally left my doors unlocked and I had a valet key in the console. So, they were able to turn the ignition on."
"In more than half of the cases in Lexington, the cars that are stolen are because someone left the keys in the car," says Sherelle Roberts, with Lexington Police.
Police have taken reports from a handful of victims in the Masterson Station area from June through July. Police say some were on vacation when it happened.
"What we want we want to remind people is that if you're going to be gone for an extended period of time, from your house, your vehicle or your property, have someone look out for it. Have your neighbor checking on it, checking in," adds Roberts.
Some of the stolen cars have yet to show up. Fortunately, for Tansy Mullins, her car was found in a ditch a few miles away about 45 minutes after reporting it missing.
As always, police say the best way to protect yourself is to always lock your car doors and avoid leaving valuables inside.
Police say many times thieves will just be breaking into a vehicle but if the key is also inside, they'll often take the car too.
Lexington police say there are between 400 and 500 cars thefts in Lexington every year.