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Norfolk Police report 70+ cars stolen citywide since Jan. 1; victim says, 'The key was not in the vehicle'

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Posted at 10:45 PM, Jan 21, 2021

NORFOLK, Va. - Most people have morning routines.

“I generally warm the car up 'cause my mom hates being cold. So, I was warming the car up,” said Amina Matheny-Willard.

She went back in the house to get ready when the aide who comes to the house every day around 7 a.m. noticed something different.

“So, she calls me and she says, ‘I think somebody just stole your car,” adds Matheny-Willard.

When she stepped outside, she noticed her brand-new black Nissan Rouge SUV was no longer in her driveway.

“I was disappointed,” she adds.

Disappointed when she played back her surveillance video to see a man walk on her property, hop in her car and drive off towards Azalea Garden Road.

Matheny-Willard says, “I took both of the key fobs out of the vehicle, so I didn’t think it could go anywhere.”

Norfolk Police tell her the key fob doesn’t need to be in the car to move.

“It’s my understanding that they can drive as long as there is gas in the vehicle and they do not turn it off,” she adds.

She isn’t the only victim. Police tell us since January 1, 71 vehicles have been reported stolen. They say this is happening “citywide."

“It was very focused, so it’s like they knew what they were doing,” Matheny-Willard adds.

Related: 5 vehicles reported stolen from gas stations across Virginia Beach after leaving vehicles unlocked, unattended

Police say car thieves aren’t just walking into neighborhoods and stealing cars; they are also taking cars outside convenience stores.

That is why Norfolk Police are placing signs on the doors of local stores, reminding people not to leave their keys in the car when they run inside.

Another Norfolk resident tells us their car, which was parked right in front of the store, was stolen from a 7-Eleven on Hampton Boulevard.

Anyone with information is asked to take action and call the Crime Line at 1-888-LOCK-U-UP (1-888-562-5887).