We're just a month into the new year, but car thefts in Lexington are already up!
With temperatures finally beginning to feel like winter, Lexington police say a lot of those crimes could have been prevented. "Many times when it gets cold out drivers like to go warm up their car" explains Lexington Police Detective Jeremiah Davis, "by doing that they leave their car vulnerable to theives and criminals."
Since the beginning of the year, there have been thirty-four automobile thefts in the Lexington area. Police say of those thirty-four, almost half have been because drivers have left their keys in the car. "It's very quick and easy for a criminal walking by," explains Davis, "they may be out and about in the cold weather and see a car sitting there running. All it takes is thirty seconds for them to get into the car and driveaway."
Police also want to inform the public that leaving your car unattended is actually illegal in the state of Kentucky. "It is against the law to leave your vehicle running and unattended. Starting your vehicle in your driveway, going back inside your house to grab that warm cup of coffee and let the vehicle warm up is illegal."
Police say drivers must be within close proximity of their vehicle when it is turned on. "If you're scrapping the frost off your windshield or loading your car with groceries, you're fine. It is when you walk away from your car and leave it unattended that you're breaking the law."
Police urge drivers to not leave their spare keys to their house or cars in their vehicles either.