According to a Facebook post by the Bismarck Police Department, motor vehicle theft is often a crime of opportunity.

Thieves look for easy targets. If you leave your keys in your vehicle or leave your vehicle running or both, you are greatly increasing the chances that your vehicle will be stolen.

The police say with the colder weather, it may be tempting to leave the keys in the ignition for just a minute, but it only takes 10 to 15 seconds to steal a running vehicle.

According to compiled statistics, 227 vehicles have been reported stolen so far this year in Bismarck.

Police advise residents take a few simple precautions to keep their vehicles from being stolen:

  • Never leave your keys in your vehicle.
  • Never leave your car running unattended.
  • Never leave valuables visible in your vehicle.
  • Consider installing anti-theft technologies and devices.
  • Park in well-lit areas when possible.
  • Call a ride service or a friend if you have had too much to drink.
  • If your car is stolen, report it to police immediately.