BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - How do you stop someone from stealing your car?
First...it's a no brainer. Don't leave your keys in the car. In fact, did you know it's illegal in Birmingham to leave your keys in the car?
Lt. Peter Williston with Birmingham Police Department wants to start by educating the public.
"But if it's an area that we have a problem with, they can be cited. It is an option to lower our auto theft statistics," he explains.
Birmingham police say it is a violation of a Birmingham city ordinance to leave your keys in the car while it is unattended. Police say that 25 percent of the cars stolen in March, they found in their investigation that the owner admits to leaving the keys in the car.
They also found that for car break-ins, 90 percent of people admit to leaving the doors unlocked or don't recall locking the door. So, you can see where some of this could have been prevented.
Lt. Williston says they want people to know about the ordinance but if people don't start taking these simple steps to protect themselves, they will start ticketing because it only takes a second to steal the car but it's hours of investigating a crime that should have never happened.