Sedalia Police posted a Facebook message on Thursday asking residents to lock their car doors. Here's what their Facebook post says:

The Sedalia Police Department is requesting your help, as we have recently seen an increase in activity related to thefts from vehicles. With the majority of the incidents, the individuals involved are taking advantage of stealing items from unlocked vehicles. We encourage everyone to remember to lock your vehicles and to report any suspicious activity to the Sedalia Police Department. Remember, you are our eyes and ears! We need your help to stop this activity.

Two easy ways to keep stuff from getting ripped off from your cars:

  • Don't leave property that would be tempting to thieves in sight. Lock them in your trunk. Or even better don't leave them in your car.
  • Lock your car doors.

Look at the language of the Sedalia PD in their post. "Individuals involved are taking advantage of stealing items from unlocked vehicles." In other words, it's a crime of opportunity. It's easy to open a door, help yourself to someone else's stuff, and make it your own. If a thief tries your vehicle's doors and their locked, the thief may move on and try another car.

Speaking of theft, guess how many cars get stolen with the keys to that vehicle? According to a USA Today article on preventing car thefts over 81,000 car thefts this year included using a key to that car.  Lubbock Police also told my Citizens Law Enforcement Academy class that same thing a couple of years ago. Don't leave the keys on the visor, under the mat, in the ignition. And don't leave the car on while you run into the convenience store for your morning coffee. It's begging for someone to drive your vehicle away.

The takeaway: Don't leave your keys in the car. Don't leave stuff your neighbor might covet in your car.