Philadelphia police warn drivers after increase in car thefts

Police are warning drivers to lock their vehicles after car thefts have increased 6% in Philadelphia over the past year.

Dan Dougherty locked his car Wednesday while grabbing a drink from a juice bar on 2nd Street in Northern Liberties but admits he often leaves the car running when stopping for something quick.

That is exactly what the Philadelphia Police Major Crimes Unit is warning against. Car thefts are up 6% in the city from this time last year and believe it or not in a quarter of the cases police say the keys were either right inside or the vehicle was left running.

"It only takes would-be car thieves seconds to go inside your vehicle, locate the keys and they make off with your vehicle," Philadelphia Police Major Crimes Unit Captain Jason Smith said.

Vanessa Acosta, of Fishtown, says she always takes her keys because she's seen car thieves casing the neighborhood.

"Especially, around here I see people checking windows or going up to cars. I'm not surprised at all," she said.

Year to date, over 4,513 vehicles have been stolen in Philadelphia. Police say many could have been prevented if car owners didn't give thieves the perfect opportunity by leaving the keys inside.