As you drive down Albany's Central Avenue, you are likely to pass a large digital sign reminding you to "take your keys." As our Beth Croughan reports, an incident Monday drives home that point.
ALBANY, N.Y. -- "Every 26.4 seconds in the United States, a vehicle is stolen," said Albany Police Spokesperson Steven Smith.
She was inside a store near Clinton Avenue and Lark Street for just a moment. That's what Koryse Sealey, 28, told Albany Police when then, someone got in her car and took off.
"A male had gotten into the vehicle and had fled up Lark Street towards First Street. She was actually able to run after the vehicle on foot, the suspect abandoned the vehicle on the 100 block of First Street and then ran," Smith said.
Sealey had left the car running, with her four-year-old daughter in the back seat.
"I'm like wow, how could you be so irresponsible. It's amazing," said Sharon Smith of Albany as she walked past an Albany Police "Take Your Keys" sign on Central Avenue.
Police said the little girl was not hurt and now they are looking for a teenager, last seen wearing a red hooded sweatshirt. And they're using this as an opportunity to re-remind drivers about ways to stop your car from being stolen.
"On December 4th, we sent out a release telling people to take their keys with them. More than half the vehicles stolen in the City of Albany are left unattended," Steven Smith said.
As the colder weather continues to come and there's the desire to keep your car warm, the Albany Police Department is reminding people to take your keys if you're gonna leave.
"Another common occurrence this time of year is people who go out and leave their cars running to warm them up in the morning. Our advice is to invest in a security system for your vehicle, to invest in a remote car starter. The price of a remote car starter is much less than a deductible you're going to be paying your insurance company if your vehicle is ever stolen," said Smith.
Smith also said you could be ticketed. Sealey was, for leaving her car unattended. And in this case he says you could be charged criminally, for endangering the welfare of a minor.