ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Car thieves don't take long to commit their crimes. "Some of these guys who steal cars know how to pop a steering wheel, know how to pop the lock out of the ignition and get into a vehicle quickly," said Sgt. Lee Reynolds with the Dougherty Police Department.
And officers say that is why you should do your part to keep from becoming their next target by parking in well lit areas, locking your doors every time, and keeping your keys with you. "We don't recommend people use magnetic hide-a-key boxes because people do look for those."
Police also say you should leave your car seats empty. "Don't leave items laying in plain view: your CD cases, your pocket books, your tool boxes, anything like that," said Sgt. Reynolds.
But following these tips does not guarantee security. Just before 6:00 PM Saturday, Clemon Robinson reported that his 2002 Chevy Silverado was stolen some time during the ASU homecoming game after he parked it in the 400 block of East Oglethorpe.
One hour earlier Diondre Germon told police that his 1990 Oldsmobile Regency was stolen from the Words of Restoration Ministries Parking lot on South Monroe. His car was later found in an alley on the 200 block of 6th avenue.
"Here in the Albany area most of our stolen vehicles are joy riders from teenagers or young adults. Some are associated with gangs. Some are not associated with gangs," said Reynolds.
Just after nine Saturday night Dametrius Davis told police her car was stolen at the House of You. She admitted that she left her car running for five minutes to go pay for her food. "Leaving your car running with the keys in it is an automatic target to get your car taken," said Reynolds.
Police say thefts are always a crime of opportunity, so drivers should be sure to never give thieves the opportunity.
Albany Police started publishing a "Hot Sheet" that lists the information of stolen cars this year.It is circulated around the department and to other agencies. This list puts those stolen cars on multiple look outs at one time.