SAVANNAH, GA (July 17, 2012) Drivers trying to escape the heat by leaving their cars running unattended are being reminded of the dangers by Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police.

 Police Chief Willie Lovett reminds drivers that the convenience of returning to a cool vehicle is far outweighed by the inconvenience of seeing the car driven off in the sunset.

 “Although vehicle thefts are down so far this year, they usually increase in the summer months when drivers leave them momentarily, unlocked and sometimes even running,” Lovett said. “I know it’s hot. But running vehicles are easy targets for thieves. It is surprising how many of these vehicles are left with keys in them.”

 So far this year vehicle thefts are running about 12 percent under last year. But it is concerning to police that at least a fourth of them were taken using keys left in them. A large number of those have been left running, sometimes with the doors open, as drivers run quick errands. While the number of auto thefts is below last year, this is the time of year that thefts traditionally increase.

 Lovett reminds drivers to always lock their cars and take their keys and leave any valuables locked safely away in the trunk and out of sight.

                                                                         # # #