Earlier this summer, Baltimore City Police Commissioner Anthony Batts noted that car thefts were up 4 percent in the city, even as other crimes seem to be on the decline. But Batts was quick to note that half of all cars stolen in the city were left running with their keys in the ignition–which is basically an invitation to having your car stolen.
Intrepid Sun reporter Justin George looked into that improbable-sounding claim, and found that — not shocking — it’s untrue. In reality, 19 percent of vehicles stole in Baltimore had their keys in them. That’s less than half what the commissioner reported. It’s also slightly less than the nationwide average.
It’s not cool for the commissioner to blame car thefts on drivers, when he should probably be blaming them on car thieves. But it’s also not cool to leave your car running with your keys in the ignition. Remember to lock up, Baltimore!