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Maryland State Police reminding drivers to take keys, lock up

Posted at 5:48 PM, Jul 16, 2018

$86 million worth of stolen cars and valuables – Maryland State Police say the most stats show there’s been an increase in car thefts statewide.

State police say car thieves have a type.

“A lot of them are older cars where you didn’t need keys to steal them. You could use a dent pull, you could use a screwdriver, a butter knife to take cars,” Chris McDonold, the executive director for the Maryland Vehicle Theft Prevention Council, said.

He says the most stolen makes and models are popular names: Honda, Dodge, and Ford.

Now it’s time to lock up.

“For vehicle thefts, more than 50% of the cars are stolen with a key,” McDonold said.

It’s a simple yet common deterrent to ward off criminals. Lock your doors and take your keys with you.

The National Insurance Crime Bureau says nearly 14,000 vehicles were stolen in 2016. The highest totals in Baltimore city, Baltimore County, and Prince George’s County.

Still better than the last decade, says McDonold.

“We had almost 39,000 auto thefts that occurred in the state of Maryland, compare that to where we are today – it’s less than 14,000. So that’s a positive success,” he said.

A reduction, McDonold, says that can reduce even more if more people are vigilant.

“Take those extra few steps to take things into your house, hide them, lock your car – take your keys. We see thefts go up in the winter months, but you’ll see them this time of year too,” he said.