Mauricio Endara is extra careful every time he's in a parking lot. Once while shopping at the mall, he returned to find his car had been stolen.
"It's just an empty feeling in your stomach, just you can't believe it. You're hoping that you can actually locate your vehicle and you're hoping maybe mall security can help you locate it, but it’s one of those things. It's gone."
According to the Insurance Information Institute, a car is stolen in the United States every 24 seconds. Nationwide, the most popular car is the Cadillac Escallade.
In Tallahassee, police officers say car thieves’ favorite targets are Hondas and the Chevrolet Caprice.
"They're looking for that vehicle that has the real expensive rims, the really expensive stereo in it, any items that maybe sitting out in plain view, expensive cell phone or anything like that sitting in the seat that may draw a criminal toward that vehicle, and then as an afterthought they say, ‘I'm in the vehicle, I've broken the windows, why don't I just steal this vehicle as well?’" said Tallahassee Police OFC David McCranie.
One of the most common mistakes is leaving the keys in the ignition just to run a quick errand, say go to the ATM.
"The car thieves that are really good, we've had folks come to town that can steal a vehicle in a minute or less," said McCranie
Some advice is to park in well lit areas close to a lot of activity and never leave the vehicle unattended with your keys in the ignition.
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