• Oct 14, 2010
Upper Moreland Township moves to make unlocked cars illegal – Click above to watch video after the jump

A suburb of Philadelphia is looking into making it a criminal offense to leave your vehicle unlocked. According to NBC Philadelphia, Upper Moreland Township wants to curb a recent rash of personal property thefts from unlocked vehicles by setting up a system of warnings and citations for those that forget to secure their car or truck on the street. Vehicles parked on personal property wouldn't be subject to the ordinance, but the proposal would have police do spot checks in neighborhoods. Owners of unlocked vehicle would be given a warning by the police on first offense, and if the same vehicle was found to be unlocked within a year, the owner could expect a $25 fine and a citation.

So why are local lawmakers targeting vehicle owners instead of the criminals breaking laws that are already in place? NBC Philadelphia reports that Police Chief Thomas Nestel says that each year, more than 75 percent of thefts are from unlocked vehicles, which in turn means a lot more man hours and paperwork for the authorities than might otherwise be necessary. Meanwhile, local residents are having predictably mixed reactions to the idea of being fined for failing to lock their vehicles. Hit the jump to see the local news spot on the issue, and then weigh in with your own thoughts in Comments.

[Source: NBC Philadelphia]

View more news videos at: http://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/video.



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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 55 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      Seems like another way for the city to generate revenue. I cringe at the thought of anyone touching my car, and knowing that the police are running around trying all the doors wouldn't make me feel too happy.

      If you don't want things stolen from your car, you'd better make sure you locked the d@&ned doors. It is your responsibility, not one for the police.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I can't believe anyone would support this proposal! anyone that thinks this is a good idea is mental. lets just take away all our civil liberties. lets just lock all the good people in the jails and let the criminals free...that way we'll all be safe...right? unbelievable!! I rarely lock my car. there is usually nothing in the car worth stealing anyways. I'd rather pay $10 to replace a CD than $200 to replace my window. I laugh at people who constantly lock their vehicles. they could be 10 ft away from their car in their own drive way and set their car alarms. there's a word for this and its called 'paranoia'. lets never trust anyone ever.
      • 4 Years Ago
      stealing is stealing.
      if it isn't yours, don't take it.

      just because someone leaves a door unlocked doesn't mean they are in the WRONG if some idiot comes and takes what they obviously have no right to.

      i think this idea is stupid. Maaayyybbeeeee the police are just trying to find someone else to blame since they can't seem to catch the real criminals. some wise crack came up with the idea in a town meeting one day and then some drunk councilman started promoting it. now the police are on board because they stand nothing but to gain ($).


      That's like saying I am at fault when someone steal's my car because I have a car people want to steal. WTF.

      i dunno. my opinion.
      • 4 Years Ago
      America: land of the (used to be) free, and home of the goverment-taking-over-your-life.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Once again the victim becomes victim and the perpetrator goes free! This is all about making money. So they really think people are stupid enough to not rally against something this stupid? If they are, I am VERY sad at the state of America!
      • 4 Years Ago
      Seriously? Firstly, who leaves their car unlocked only to be shocked that someone stole something from the car (or the car itself!)? Secondly, for those people who just "can't be bothered" to lock their car, is it really that hard for you? The push of a button or twist of a key is a small price to pay to protect your property. And lastly, let's say for argument's sake there really are that many stupid people out in Philly who need to be separated from their money. How would they enforce this? Police going up and down the streets checking each door? Setting of all the car alarms from those cars that flip out if you so much as cough next to them and freaking out owners who find a cop trying to get in their car. Just let the stupid suffer the consequences for being stupid and do a better job catching the thieves.
      • 4 Years Ago
      "NBC Philadelphia reports that Police Chief Thomas Nestel says that each year, more than 75 percent of thefts are from unlocked vehicles, which in turn means a lot more man hours and paperwork for the authorities than might otherwise be necessary."

      Because sending out officers to check car doors and write tickets doesn't involve ANY man hours or paperwork whatsoever. I guess it's ok as long as it's in pursuit of revenue.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Wow. I've got a better idea: Let's assemble a congress in Philadelphia to determine what actions to take against a corrupt government with many petty taxes and fines. Pretty sure some kind of declaration could be fashioned letting the powers that be know the people don't appreciate such incursions on liberty. Maybe then we'll get to a point where we solve these problems like men instead of rolling over and letting the government take more money for the indecency of making them do their jobs.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Then wait another 300 years and see it shred to pieces.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Welcome to free America!
      • 4 Years Ago
      Government run amok. We can't catch the criminals, so lets catch the victims.
        • 4 Years Ago
        alderman, how about you read more slowly next time, you might actually understand what was written. The police chief says the reason for the fine is because of the cost of paperwork. Except the people paying the fine have not filed a report, their car was simply found unlocked twice. If it's about cost, why not charge the fine to the people who actaully file a claim? No, instead he wants to charge everyone else. Does that make sense?
        adlerman
        • 4 Years Ago
        How dumb are you? Why should the government waste time filing reports on theft from an unlocked car? I wouldn't have the nerve to file a report if I left my car unlocked.
        Ever hear of personal responsibility tea bagger?
        • 4 Years Ago
        Probably the same reason the government wastes time filling reports on assaults of unarmed individuals.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I remember some of my older family members telling stories about how they never left their houses locked, let alone their cars - without any fear of getting robbed.

      It's really unfortunate that it reached this stage now..
        • 4 Years Ago
        We usually leave our house unlocked where I live. It's all about location... and the "This house protected by Smith And Wesson Security Systems" sign in the window helps.
      • 4 Years Ago
      What happens to us Miata drivers with a softtop? Deal with cut tops when someone wants to break in now?
        • 4 Years Ago
        Don't buy a Miata. Problem solved.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Dead on, any soft top car. If you are in an area where you will be robbed, don't keep anything valuable in the car and then leave the doors unlocked. That will save you $300 for your Miata top or much more for other car's replacement tops and they won't take anything valuable (because there isn't anything!)
        • 4 Years Ago
        Yeah, I never lock my Miata. I keep it empty, and save my top from getting slashed.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Excellent solution Bob!
        • 4 Years Ago
        Put a rattle snake in it.. or a cougar. Cougar might rip the top up though.

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