Don’t leave keys in your car – Action illegal in Grass Valley |

Don’t leave keys in your car – Action illegal in Grass Valley

Making it a crime to leave your keys in the ignition of an unattended car has worked in cutting down vehicle thefts, Grass Valley police say.

That is why they urged the City Council to keep the law Tuesday night.

“A year ago I thought it was a little silly, but the awareness factor is making it worth having it on our books,” said Vice Mayor Mark Johnson. The other City Council members agreed.

The law had been adopted originally in 2003 for a one-year review period to see if it would help reduce car thefts in the city. While no one has yet been cited for the law, Police Chief John Foster said the law has been working. Vehicle thefts in 2004 decreased by 6 percent from 2003, and there was also a 23 percent drop in the number of vehicle theft reports where a key was left in the car.

This is also in spite of the fact that the police department’s coverage increased with further annexation of the Brunswick Basin.

The idea of such a law isn’t exactly new. Motorists previously were barred from leaving their cars running unattended, such as on a cold winter morning.

“That has always been an infraction,” Foster said.

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