Thursday, August 22, 2013

Of For the Love Of (St.) Pete(rsburg)...

This story is so dumb, it calls for the dreaded double facepalm

Leading Cause Of Car Theft In Florida Town: Keys Left In Car
When St. Petersburg Mayor Bill Foster told a crowd at a mayoral forum that 60 percent of auto thefts in the city were due to drivers leaving keys inside the car, people were shocked. Politifact investigated the claim and found the mayor's estimate was indeed way off.

Of the 551 cars stolen in St. Petersburg so far this year, 460 had the keys either in the ignition or somewhere else in the vehicle.

That's 83 percent of vehicles stolen in the city.

I will often come home to find one or more doors to the house unlocked. This is a direct result of having children who, because of the way their still-developing nervous systems operate, cannot open a door without forgetting that it ever existed in the first place. It's along the same lines of how they are physically incapable of turning *off* a light or flushing a toilet. It's amazing that we've progressed as far as we have as a species. Anyways, I will unfailingly remind my wee bairns that YOU HAVE TO LOCK THE DAMN DOOR - every single time - just so I can remind them again the next day.

In a way, they're doing me a favor, because I always check the doors - always. I also lock the doors whenever I leave the house for more than a few seconds. Lots of folks scoff, but recently there was a rash of robberies where people just walked into a house and grabbed whatever was in plain sight in the middle of the downstairs floor. Laptops, flatscreen TVs, game consoles, jewelry, cash - there's a lot of fairly valuable stuff just sitting around most houses (we have a protective layer of Lego caltrops surrounding the perimeter, so we're pretty well protected).

Leaving the keys in the car, though; that's a whole new level of dumb. I thought my inlaws were bad because they never locked their car (even after my father-in-law had his car stolen because it was unlocked) - their thinking was they never left anything of value in the car, and they'd rather have the car unlocked than have the window smashed. Leaving the keys inside the car, though? Or worse - in the ignition? That's just asking for something bad to happen - even if that "something bad" is one of your friends hopping in and playfully moving your car on you. With the friends we have, it would be found in Terra del Fuego.

Situational awareness: GET SOME.

That is all.


JMD said...

Pretty unbelievable. My wife gets annoyed at me when I check to make sure the door's locked even after she told me she locked it. What she doesn't realize is that I double check that it's locked even if I know that I locked it too.

The other thing that gets me about this article is the choice of wording. The car thefts were caused by leaving the keys in the car? No. The car thefts were caused by unscrupulous individuals stealing vehicles. The keys in the car just made the vehicle easier to take.

Anonymous said...

100% of the car thefts are because some mope want to take what was not his.

Just saying.


Anonymous said...

I confess, both farm trucks have the keys in the ignition. If, however, you can figure out the trick to getting the big one's garage door open, and the trick to getting the carburetor to behave on the old one...well I deserved to have them stolen. You'll need to unlock the garage, and probably inflate a tire or two, as well.

Now, the eminently attractive (to car thieves) grey hondas sitting in plain sight do not have the keys in the ignition.

(yes, the farm trucks and the tractors have the garage, the cars do not. priorities!)

Ancient Woodsman said...

"Lego caltrops"...heh heh!

Every parent knows exactly what that is like & cringes at the thought while their foot reflexively recoil from reading those words.

Until today, I had never put those two words together as did you. Nice job.

I was riding with one of the guys from the north one day - after lunch we went back to his truck & I was horrified to see the windows down, keys in the ignition, and derided him for same.d He sheepishly grinned, "What? we do that al the time up home...besides, who'd steal a marked state truck?"

So I informed him of the small town nearby, where in the last few months folks broke in to the police station to steal the chief's car - found years later in a river nearby. He doesn't leave the keys in the ignition anymore.

Knucklehead said...

Gotta go with JMD and Gerry on this. The 'cause of 100% of the car thefts was thieves taking things that don't belong to them. The fact that the owners of the property made it easy for the thieves just means that the thieves didn't need to move on to the next car or three to find one to steal easily.

I am the same with the doors and locks. When it is time to turn in I make the rounds, check the doors even when I know I locked them. You just never know when the cat is going to catch on to the whole door lock thing. The dog won't but the cat might.

Bothers the heck out of me that I need to lock my car in my own driveway though. I'll need something from the car and I NEVER, EVER remember to grab the keys on my way to it. What we need are little photon torpedos that vaporize anyone who touches something they aren't authorized to touch. Is that too much to ask?

.45ACP+P said...

Legos are great but Barbie high heels, now that is an effective caltrop! I am glad those days are in the past.

Dave H said...

Unfortunately the intruders are probably shod, while the homeowner investigating what went bump in the night with a flashlight and a .45 probably isn't. So the Legos aren't necessarily on the homeowner's side.

But I know where that monster coffee table is. It takes a trophy out of every visitor's shin bone.

Ian Argent said...

Lego Caltrops... Learned that before the wee one was walking
For both cars and houses, muscle memory says unless actively traversing the portal, the door gets locked (and consequently if I'm dressed for exiting the house, I have my keys on me). Admittedly, this is a clever way for my brain to make sure I *have* my keys on my person.