Virginia Beach, Va. - Keyless ignition systems make is easier for car owners to start their car, but it can also make it easier for thieves to steal them.
According to Virginia Beach Police in February alone, 54 cars were stolen. They say some of those thefts were due to key fobs, used to unlock and start cars automatically, being left in cars.
"What we are finding is while they are going through the car, people are leaving their key fobs in the vehicle upon doing so the criminal can just start the vehicle and it is very easy for them to steal it," explained Sgt. Brad Wesseler with Virginia Beach Police.
Sgt. Wesseler noticed the increase in thefts and took action to alert Virginia Beach residents by posting a message about the dangers of leaving key fobs in cars on Nextdoor.com.
"What we are finding is while they are going through the car, people are leaving their key fobs in the vehicle upon doing so the criminal can just start the vehicle and it is very easy for them to steal it," said Wesseler.
Police are asking owners to remove the key fobs from vehicles every single time it is not in use. They also ask that drivers remove all valuables from their cars especially firearms, so thieves aren't inclined to break into your car.
"They [thieves] are getting more brazen and they are breaking the windows and searching through cars so we are asking people to remove their items especially guns," said Wesseler. "In 2015 we had 153 guns stolen out of vehicles and we do not want those on the street for the safety of our officers and for our public."