Last week, an unlocked car with the keys inside from an open garage in Kensington, and the Montgomery County Police Department is treating the theft as a teachable moment for Kensingtonians who aren't properly securing their property.
Officer Howard Hersh, spokesman for MCPD, said an open garage is an invitation for theft. Furthermore, many homeowners don't lock the in-garage doors to their houses, he said.
Leaving keys in a car — or hanging from a nail in an open garage — makes it easy for thieves to make off with your vehicle, he said.
Aside from locking doors and cars, Kensingtonians can deter would-be burglars with the cost-effective installation of motion-sensing outdoor lights, Hersh said.
"We tell people all the time: If one house is lit, and the one next door is not, guess where they're going to go," he said.
Hersh said burglaries in the area are not trending upward, but many could have been averted with simple security measures.
MCPD offers free home-security surveys, and they'll provide further tips for protecting yourself from property crime. The department's non-emergency number is 301-279-8000.