TOWSON, Md. (WJZ) — Police in Baltimore County are urging people to keep their vehicles locked following a spike in thefts in the past two months.
Since July 1, 84 thefts have been reported involving vehicles left unattended while running and vehicles with keys and key fobs left inside.
The Baltimore County Police Department said residents should always lock their car doors, never leave cars running, remove valuables, never leave keys inside and install anti-theft equipment.
Police said these crimes are primarily happening in Dundalk, Essex, Wilkens and Woodlawn precincts.
The spike in vehicle thefts has prompted the department to create a new PSA video.
“Never leave a spare key in any vehicle. Thieves know where to look for them and can quickly take your vehicle before you even know that it’s gone,” the video said.
Police said most of these thefts are preventable.
They’re not able to tell WJZ how many have taken place in each individual precinct, but confirm the Woodlawn area has seen the highest number of cases.
“It’s scary because I used to have trees like 25 feet high, I cut them all down. I want to be vigilant. I want to see everything on my property,” said Woodlawn resident Bobby Walker.
Walker and his longtime neighbor and friend Errol Morris said they’re always looking out for each other’s homes and properties.
They’ve even added security to alert them of suspicious activity.
“I was inside one night and there were four guys inside my wife’s vehicle,” Morris told WJZ.
Walker’s truck was stolen last June and later discovered abandoned in the city.
Morris shared a handful of stories about recent activity on his street. He said he’s staying vigilant.
“These are times where we as neighbors, we always look out for each other,” Morris said.