Danville, VA - Car thefts are up in Danville and police say many of them are preventable. In fact, police say victims are unknowingly making it really easy for the thieves.Police say they've seen more car thefts from the south side of Danville but it is happening in other parts as well. They say this is a problem, but if you are careful, you can likely prevent it.
Monica Karavanic holds her car keys a little tighter now after someone stole her blue Subaru right from her own driveway last week."More shock that someone had not only stolen my car but come into my driveway with all my lights on while we were home," said Karavanic.
Karavanic says she parks her car behind her house off a side street in Grove Park. She would often leave her keys in the car, never thinking anyone would take advantage of it.
"We did not anticipate that it would be easily accessible but we've definitely learned our lesson," said Karavanic.
Captain Dennis Haley says Karavanic isn't the only recent victim in the city. He says the number of vehicle thefts is unusually high, eight have been reported in the past two months.
"The vast majority of them probably would not have happened had the victims not left their keys in the car," said Haley.
Haley calls it a crime of opportunity and says thieves look for cars like Karavanic's they can easily steal.
"One thief has success with it and he tells a friend and they start trying it themselves," said Haley.
Police found Karavanic's car within a week. Luckily, she didn't see any damage or find anything missing.
"I'm not really sure what the motivation was other than just taking it and leaving it somewhere," said Karavanic.
Karavanic has a warning for others.
"Lock your car and do not leave key in it," said Karavanic.
Haley says they have made an arrest related to these cases but they are still looking for more suspects. They can face grand larceny charges and possibly trespassing as well.