Keys left in cars lead to high reports of stolen vehicles in Odessa

Keys left in cars lead to high reports of stolen vehicles in Odessa

ODESSA, TX (KWES) - Odessa police are responding to many stolen vehicle calls recently. It's something they see too often. There's instances where vehicles are left unattended and are later in the hands of a complete stranger. It's all because of the simple idea of drivers letting their engines warm up except they leave their keys in the ignition.

"I know it's tempting, because of the colder weather but it's not worth it," said Cpl. Steve LeSueur with the Odessa Police Department. "We see it happen on a daily occurrence right now."

Odessa police already have reports of 25 vehicles stolen just for the month of January. That's why they're warning drivers that leaving your keys in the ignition is never a good idea. One, it's illegal so you can be cited with a fine up to $500. Two, the thieves get a free car.

"It's important to know it's not illegal to leave your vehicle with the engine running and left unattended. It is illegal to leave the key in the ignition so if you have auto start, it's perfectly legal or something similar to that."

Remote start installations are one of the best solutions that can prevent crimes like these from happening.

Baldwin Electronics, located in Odessa, sees a spike in customers who get remote start installations during the winter months.

"This is remote start season, cold weather of course, we don't have much cold weather here," said Ray Baldwin, owner of Baldwin Electronics. "But as soon as the weather gets cold, we get calls for remote starts every year."

Instead of turning your vehicle on with the key in the ignition, you can do it from a remote, or even from your phone, without the risk of a thief stealing it.

"You can be in the house, start your car, let your warm up," said Baldwin. "Or in the summer, you can have a cool car. You don't worry about the heat problem and it's convenient. You don't leave your keys in the car. You start your car, car stays locked, it's completely safe and secure, so they can't drive it if there's no key in the car."

An installation takes just a few hours but can protect your car from heading on the road to theft.

Baldwin Electronics is located of 2003 Andrews Highway. To inquire about getting an installation, call them at (432) 337-6701.

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