MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Just by taking a simple walk through an east side neighborhood, Fort Lauderdale Police Detective Tim Shields knows exactly what cars could be targets of criminals.
Pointing to a driveway, he said, “As you can see, you got a couple cars here, you have this white Tesla here, the mirrors are tucked in and in the same driveway you have a Mercedes sedan with the mirrors that are out,” he said.READ MORE: Taste Of The Town: Chefs Jose Mendin And Santo Agnello Open Italian Eatery Casa Isola
On many high-dollar cars, if the mirrors aren’t tucked in, it’s likely unlocked.
At another home, Det. Shields points out, “This Bentley is more than likely a car that they wouldn’t try, that means the car is secured and the fab is not inside, however, the Porsche here is a car that our suspects would come out and try hoping the fob is inside,” he said.
The biggest problem is that in many cases, car owners leave their key fobs in their unlocked cars, making theft very simple.
Surveillance video shows just how fast these cars can be snatched.READ MORE: Missing California Tourist Angela Morrisey Found In Medley
It just takes seconds. “I had my car stolen. Don’t feel sorry for me because I was the idiot who left the keys in the car,” said East Fort Lauderdale Resident John O’Flaherty. His Beamer was stolen from his driveway at 3 in the afternoon. “A car drives by, stops, backs up. They spotted the mirrors that were not folded in, the guy jumps in my car, is in my car in my driveway and peels out in about 5 seconds,” he said.
Det. Shields says these crooks know what they’re looking for. “They are targeting high-end cars in high-end neighborhoods, very upper echelon neighborhoods, and cars that are very expensive that they can sell on the street,” he said.
Signs are up around Fort Lauderdale asking people “Where’s your fob?” It’s a reminder to secure your car. “Make sure of where their key fob is at all times. Make sure when you’re coming home, get inside your house to make known where your key fob is and take it inside,” he urged.
With auto thefts on the rise, many cities are doing just like Fort Lauderdale, warning people.
Hollywood recently put out a video on social media called “Your 9 PM routine,”. “It’s really easy,” an officer says in the video, “At 9 o’clock or around, remove your belongings from your car, lock your car doors, and don’t become a victim. Make this your 9 p.m. routine!”MORE NEWS: Zoo Miami Helps Discover A Brand New Spider Species In Miami
Police say many of these thefts are preventable simply by taking your key fob out of the car along with valuables and lock the doors.