Sheriff Jay Koon

Motor vehicles are the primary mode of transportation for most of us, and often, an indispensable part of our lives. But what would happen if yours suddenly disappeared? Vehicle theft is a very expensive crime, with the cost of stolen vehicles pegged at more than $4.1 billion–that’s billion with a “B.”

Each year, there are several hundred motor vehicle thefts in Lexington County. Keys left in the vehicle is a factor in many of those thefts.

It’s simple–yet, often unheeded–advice: always take your keys out of your car. You’d probably be surprised how many people leave their cars running when they go inside a store for a quick purchase. Whether they want to keep the car warm or cool, many just don’t want to turn their car off in the interest of convenience.

Unfortunately, this can easily lead to a great deal of inconvenience. About 40 percent of all the vehicles stolen around the country are never recovered. It’s a costly and time-consuming ordeal to handle the aftermath of a stolen vehicle.

Items stolen from inside of your car can also create a headache for you. Every time you get out of your car, turn it off, remove all valuables (especially firearms) from the car, close and lock all windows and doors, and take your keys with you.

If you’re not able to take the valuables with you, at least put them in the trunk or make sure they’re not in plain view.

These are tried and true ways to greatly reduce your risk of having your car stolen.