Police tell residents to leave car keys where thieves can grab them

 March 15, 2024

This story was originally published by the WND News Center.

A police officer in one major city has advised residents, amid an explosion in the number of car thefts, to leave their car keys where thieves can easily grab them.

The apparent goal is to avoid a "confrontation" with thieves who would break into a home to steal car keys, in order then to steal that car.

The advice comes from Toronto, Canada, police constable Marco Ricciardi who was at a town meeting recently in the municipality of Etobicoke.

"To prevent the possibility of being attacked in your home, leave your FOBs at your front door. Because they’re breaking into your home to steal your car. They don’t want anything else," he said. "A lot of them that they’re arresting have guns on them. And they’re not toy guns, they’re real guns. They’re loaded."

report from Fox News notes that car thefts have spiked in the area. Toronto auto thefts were 5,000 in 2019 but exploded to more than 12,000 last year.

And, police pointed out, those thieves now have been breaking into homes to steal keys to steal cars.

Police explained, just days ago regarding, "Home Invasion Prevention Tips," "An officer at a recent community meeting suggested that people leave the keys to their vehicle ... by the front door. While well-meaning, there are also other ways to prevent auto theft motivated home invasions."

Police continued, "For additional context, in Toronto, home invasions and break and enters for auto theft occurrences rose 400 percent in 2023. Police are concerned about an escalation in violence, where all sorts of weapons and firearms are being used to steal vehicles, and that includes during home invasions."

Then authorities suggested parking vehicles in garages, lighting a driveway, having a home security system, and avoiding social media postings that tell people residents will be away.

Fox News Digital was told by Toronto police that Ricciardi's recommendation was "well-meaning."

And, police told the network, it was in response to the "increasing number of violent home invasions" that are related to vehicle thefts.

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