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]