There's an easy way to keep your vehicle safe and in your driveway. Don't leave your keys in the car or ignition when you're not. Take anything of value with you, or out of sight. It really is that simple.

It was a couple of years ago in another city. I was part of a citizens police academy when one of the officers scheduled to speak was from the department's auto theft division. That's exactly what he told us. A majority of car thefts are crimes of opportunity. A car's running with no one in it is easy pickings. A car that's unlocked with the keys inside. Just as easy. A car with valuables, or perceived valuables in plain sight, easy pickings. Even easier if the car is unlocked.

I get it. We all long for the time when we could park our car in the driveway, put the keys on top of the visor and go about our day. I don't know about you, but I also long for the day I could leave my front door unlocked and I knew my neighbors. Sadly, those days are gone. I say hi to my neighbors, I like them. However I'm not leaving my door unlocked. These days I'll turn my car off an lock it when I'm running into the club house at my apartment to get my mail. Better safe than sorry.

I've been there. The first brand new car I bought thieves just loved. They tried to boost it. They boosted the stereo. Then they got in it one day and tossed everything that was in there trying to find something valuable. Heck, that car even had plates stolen off of it.

The bottom line. Your car might be stolen if it's locked. If you leave something a thief wants in plain sight. They may pop a lock or smash a window to get it. That takes effort on their part. Thieves don't like working very hard. If you leave the car running while unattended. If you leave the doors unlocked. That's just making it easy for them. Take the keys, lock the car. You'll be glad you did.