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Updated Apr 29, 2015 - 3:40 pm

Study: Keys left in car leads to spike in auto theft

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Although security systems in cars advance heavily each year, auto theft seems to be on the rise, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

A recent study published by the National Insurance Crime Bureau found that the number of cars stolen with the keys left inside has increased from 39,000 in 2012 to nearly 45,000 in 2014.

Joseph Wehrle, president and CEO of the NICB, said stealing a vehicle equipped with anti-theft technology is very difficult, but that does not stop owners from forgetting their keys inside the car.

California led the country with the most cars stolen with keys inside — between 2012 and 2014, 19,597 such thefts occurred.

Wehrle said he is not surprised by these numbers and believes they might be even higher.

“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,” he said in a press release.

Texas, Florida, Michigan and Ohio rounded out the top five states with the highest number of vehicle thefts with keys, with each state reporting over 7,000.


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