SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELOLAND) — At this pace, there could be more than 700 vehicles stolen in Sioux Falls this year.
Sioux Falls Police said as of Friday, at least 61 vehicles had been stolen in the city since the first of the year.
Police shared stolen vehicle totals from 2015 through 2018.
A total of 472 vehicles were stolen in 2015, 697 in 2016, 544 in 2017 and 638 in 2018.
Police said this year’s thefts are not concentrated in a particular area. However, there is a common element to many–the keys have been left in vehicles.
Sioux Falls drivers are not alone in having their vehicles stolen when the keys are left in the ignition.
Every single day from Jan. 1, 2016, to Dec. 31, 2018, an average of 209 vehicles were stolen in the U.S. because the keys or the key fob was left in the vehicle, the National Insurance Crime Bureau said on its website on March 26, 2019.
The NICB completed an analysis of data from Jan. 1, 2016, to Dec. 3, 2018, and released it on March 19, 2019. There were 229,339 vehicle with keys reported stolen during that time in the U.S., according to the study.
That total was an increase of more than 50% from 2013 through 2015, the study said.
California, Florida and Texas had the most vehicle thefts with keys from 2016 through 2018. Those three states have warm climates but according to the NCIB the individual dates with the most theft happened during the cold months of December and January.
Thieves picked Mondays to steal most of the vehicles. And early January of 2018 was a prime time for vehicle thefts with keys, according to the study.
On Jan. 1, 2018, 321 vehicles were stolen with keys. On Jan. 3, 2018, 309 vehicles were stolen. On Jan. 5, 2018, 307 vehicles were stolen.