Davenport sees 382 car thefts in 2016; why your risk is higher in the winter

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DAVENPORT, Iowa-- It may seem tempting to leave the keys in your car's ignition especially when the temperature drops. But police are warning drivers to not take the bait.

"It's almost like setting a $20 bill on the table and walking away, and you expect to come back thinking it's still going to be sitting there, same mentality," says Sergeant Mark Berger of the Davenport Police Department.

This year alone, 382 cars have been reported stolen in Davenport. That's more than one a day.

When WQAD News 8 simulated the common practice of leaving your car running while you run into the store, we found just how quickly someone can drive off with your car. It took less than 12 seconds for our pseudo thief to hop in, put our car in drive, and speed off.

Police say it's not worth it.

"Take your keys with you. Leaving it running for a minute, it's not going to make your car any warmer or colder for that long," says Berger.

Davenport police also reported 32 guns stolen from cars in 2016. They advise all gun owners to make sure they are storing firearms in a safe, secure place at all times.

Police also say car theft is a nationwide problem.