The Columbus Police Department is urging the public to be more cautious with their belongs following a recent rash of car thefts.
Maj. Gil Slouchick said 94 car thefts were reported stolen in Columbus within the first 22 days of 2016. Fourty-seven of those vehicles had the keys in them at the time of the incident, he added.
In several cases, the vehicle was taken from gas stations where the driver leave it running unattended to enter the convenience store, according to police.
"There are people out there that are doing nothing but looking for this," Slouchick said. "Don't think it can't happen to you. There are no neighborhoods and there are no parts of town that are immune from this."
Slouchick said police are normally able to recover the vehicles, but it's after the thief has used them in robberies, burglaries or other crimes. Sometimes, the stolen automobiles are used as a getaway vehicle in police chases that end with a collision.
"Don't make yourself a victim," he said.
— Sarah is a crime & safety reporter at The Ledger-Enquirer. You can contact her on Twitter at @SarahR_92.