TULSA, Okla. — Every year, the Tulsa Police Department is busy investigating auto thefts, and what's most troubling is how thieves are getting away with the crime.
"60 to 70% of our vehicles that are stolen in Tulsa are a result of people leaving their keys in the vehicle," explained Lieutenant Shane Tuell.
Since the beginning of 2020, there have already been 142 vehicles reported stolen, which is an average of 11 a day.
Auto thefts increased in the city from 3,280 reports in 2018 to 3,381 in 2019.
"We can drastically drop that number by people taking their keys out of the car or not leave the car running or locking their doors," said Lt. Tuell.
It sounds like simple advice, yet it keeps happening.
Lt. Tuell said it is more prevalent this time of year when it's cold outside, and drivers leave their vehicles running, while they go inside a store or run a quick errand. Thieves take advantage of this crime of opportunity.
According to TPD's Lieutenant Glen Moore from the auto theft division, the most common stolen vehicles in Tulsa are Honda cars and Chevrolet pickup trucks.
Data collected by Insurify showed that Tulsa is ranked as the 14th highest city in the U.S. for car thefts in 2018 beating bigger cities likes Portland and San Francisco. The rate is about 505 cars per 100,000 people, which is at least twice the national average.
Another piece of advice from TPD to avoid becoming a victim, make sure you don't leave anything of value in open sight when you lock your car that could entice a criminal.
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