Penn Wynne, Lower Merion Township — A vehicle was stolen from the 100 block of Crosshill Road in Penn Wynne on January 1, 2019, making it the first stolen vehicle in Lower Merion this year, according to Police reports.
The Lower Merion Police Department said that the owner of a gray Mazda CX-9, valued at approximately $17,000, left the keys in the vehicle after returning home from ringing in the New Year and parking the car in the driveway around 2 AM.
Police reported that the owner returned to the driveway at 12:30 PM that afternoon to find that both the keys and the Mazda were gone.
Like many cars stolen from Lower Merion, the keys were left in the car, said Police officials. Because of this trend, police have been urging car owners throughout the township to keep their keys with them and lock their car doors.
In Lower Merion the keys are left in cars often, police said, and this leads to theft. Leaving the keys in the car presents a thief with an opportunity that they may not have been looking for.
“Leaving the keys in the vehicle is an open invitation for the opportunistic car thief,” National Insurance Crime Bureau president and CEO Joe Wehrle
said in a statement.
Wherle added, “I’m sure the numbers are probably higher because we are only able to determine the thefts where the car was recovered with the keys inside, or where someone admitted they left the keys in the car or the ignition.”
What are the Top Targets for Car Thieves?
According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau in 2017 the last year available for data, the top ten stolen cars were:
- Honda Civic
- Honda Accord
- Ford Pickup (Full Size)
- Chevrolet Pickup (Full Size)
- Toyota Camry
- Nissan Altima
- Toyota Corolla
- Dodge Pickup (Full Size)
- GMC Pickup (Full Size)
- Chevrolet Impala
Police reported that often criminals are looking to gain entry into a vehicle to steal items of value in plain sight. But when car owners leave keys in the ignition, in a cupholder, in an overhead visor or in the glovebox, the criminal gets the much larger opportunity to steal the entire car.
“Someone planning to steal from your car may not normally try to steal the vehicle,” Wehrle said.
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