SHELBY COUNTY, Ala. (WIAT) — Neighbors across central Alabama continue to fall victim to thieves looking to steal from unlocked vehicles.
Law enforcement agencies from cities and towns across Jefferson and Shelby Counties have repeatedly used social media to warn residents about thefts from cars.
A vehicle can be a target at a busy shopping center, outside a neighborhood home, or even at a gas station.
While cash, electronics, and other valuables are always targets for thieves, recent technology like push-start vehicles can make it easier for thieves to actually steal a car if the key fob is in the vicinity.
In Pelham, Kenny Sides left his key fob in his car while he went inside a gas station a few weeks ago.
“Walked in the door, went to the counter, turned around, walked back to the door, the car was gone, that quick,” Sides said.
Sides admits he has seen some police reminders on Facebook about locking up, but never thought he would be a victim.
“Haha. It’s going to happen. If you take it for granted, that’s when they’re going to get you, because that’s what I did,” said Sides.
Even if a vehicle is locked, police say a crook may break a window if an item is in plain view. Other times, thieves will pull on handles just to check to see if a car or truck is locked.
“I’ll make sure the doors are locked, I’ve left hunting equipment, all sorts of guns, and fishing stuff, but I’m going to make sure it’s put in the house now, you can’t leave anything out,” said Sides.
Area police departments suggest to lock up as part of a nightly routine.
Agencies that have recently used social media to warn of thefts from vehicles include: Mountain Brook Police, Vestavia Hills Police, Pelham Police, Homewood Police, Tuscaloosa County Sheriff’s Office, Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, and Shelby County Sheriff’s Office.