30 cars stolen, with keys in the ignition, in 30 days

SPRINGFIELD, Mo -  Car theft  can happen in seconds and is being reported more frequently in Springfield this summer.

The Springfield Police department has gotten 30 calls in 30 days for stolen vehicles that were taken while the keys were in the ignition.

"People in general think it can not happen to them, the fact is it can happen, it does happen, and it will happen if we don't take the extra precautions to eliminate the possibility," said officer David Snyder with the Springfield Police Department.

In addition to the 30 reported cases where keys were left in the ignition, police representatives say in the past month there have been many more reports of stolen vehicles.

"We try to instill confidence in folks and let them know that we are out there, but it also takes the help of the people too to do their part," said Snyder.

Police recommend making sure your windows are rolled up, doors are locked, and of course, your keys are out of the ignition to reduce your chances of becoming a victim. They add, having your vehicle stolen isn't the only result of this type of crime.

"If someone gets into your car and they go through your glove compartment and you have personal documentation that has birthdays or social security numbers on it, we have even seen passports that have been left in vehicles and you don't want to compromise your safety," said Snyder.

These are things many people don't consider until it's too late.

"Don't give criminals the opportunity or the  ability to jeopardize your safety or personal space.
You can have so many problems erupt in a matter of seconds due to the fact that you left something personal in your car that the criminal gets a hold of," said Snyder.

Many people leave their car windows cracked or garage doors partly open in the summer for better ventilation but officers say that can actually make you an easier target for car thefts.