MPD News and Information

496 auto thefts in the city, over half were crime of opportunity

So far this year, the Mobile Police Department reports a total of 496 vehicles stolen throughout the city. But, over half could have been prevented if drivers simply didn’t leave the keys in the vehicle with the doors unlocked.

Fifty-seven percent of the vehicles were stolen because of drivers making the crime easy to commit. If the vehicles were spotted left running, the suspects just jumped right in and drove off. Others went around pulling on door handles and found the keys in the unlocked vehicle and stole the vehicle that way.

The Auto Theft Unit describes the suspects stealing vehicles in this fashion as opportunist criminals. They saw an opportunity to commit a crime and took advantage of the situation.

Of the total number of auto thefts, 228 vehicles were taken due to the driver leaving the keys in the vehicle or in the ignition. A total of 56 vehicles were stolen while left running at places such as gas stations, laundry mats and residences.

The Auto Theft Unit urges drivers to stop creating this crime of opportunity. Here are a few simple steps to follow to help reduce the number of auto thefts.

  • Remove keys from the ignition, close the windows and lock the vehicle doors.
  • Don’t leave vehicles running unattended and unlocked, even if it’s a quick errand.
  • And, do not keep a spare key in the vehicle such as in the glove box, as that’s where auto thieves tend to look first.

For inquiries contact MPD Public Affairs Office

Contact Phone #: 251-208-1918 Contact Email:

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