Thieves target cars left running or with key fobs inside

A tool meant to make it harder for criminals to steal cars is actually making it easier.

Atlanta police said in the last three days, there have been more than a dozen car thefts and all but one of those cars were left running or left with the key fob inside.

“We're seeing this pattern over and over,” said Atlanta Police Deputy Chief Michael O’Connor who has a strong message for residents. “It is imperative that as a habit people take their key fobs with them when they leave their vehicle.”

O'Connor said eight cars left running or with the key fob inside were stolen since Sunday in Buckhead and another four cars in Midtown.

While officers said they are recovering cars through investigations on the back end, O’Connor said the easiest way to solve the problem would be to prevent it.

Police said there are typically three reasons someone might steal a car. The first, for transportation, where they simply need to get from one place to another. The second is they steal cars to commit other crimes. And the third is they might steal a car to make a profit.

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