ODESSA, Texas — With the winter months approaching, the Odessa Police Department would like to warn the community against leaving their keys in the ignition.
Car thieves are looking for cars to steal and spend the early morning hours driving around targeting motorists who are warming up their cars.
In 2020, Odessa Police have responded to several hundred stolen vehicle calls, with a vast majority of them being because of keys left in the ignition or spare keys left in the vehicle.
So the Odessa Police Department is providing tips to prevent auto theft.
These tips are:
1) Avoid leaving or hiding spare keys in your vehicle.
2) It is illegal to leave your keys in the ignition with the engine running & the vehicle left unattended. Doing this can result in a fine of up to $140 (Texas Transportation Code 545.404 - Unattended Motor Vehicles).
3) Some insurance companies will not cover your vehicle if it is stolen as a result of this happening.
4) It is legal to leave your vehicle unattended with the engine running if you use a remote start device.
5) Report all suspicious activity, suspicious persons, and suspicious vehicles to OPD.