In the five-year period between 2013 and 2018, a total of 376,773 vehicles were stolen because drivers left their keys or fobs in the vehicle, marking an 88% increase overall.
The data comes from a newly released report from the National Insurance Crime Bureau.
The report homes in on the three-year period between 2016 and 2018, finding that a general driver complacency trend that's inviting auto theft continues nationwide. During that timeframe, some 229,339 vehicles were stolen due to keys left inside — translating into a 56% increase since 2015.
California ranked first among the states for vehicle thefts with keys between 2016 and 2018, with a total of 31,185 vehicles stolen in this manner. Florida came in second with 17,300 thefts, followed by Texas with 15,511, Ohio with 12,596, and Nevada with 11,391.
Other states that ranked among the top ten for vehicle thefts with keys include Georgia (9,128), Illinois (8,308), Wisconsin (7,846), Indiana (7,771), and Michigan (7,521).
The daily average number of thefts with keys from 2016 to 2018 is 209 thefts per day.
Monday was the preferred day for appropriating vehicles with a total of nearly 35,000 thefts. Friday ranked second and Saturday third, with 33,582 and 33,214 thefts, respectively.
The seasons played a role in thefts with keys as well. The data shows that most thefts occurred in the winter and fall — indicating that some thefts likely occurred as owners left their vehicle idling in an effort to warm up the interior. December had the highest rate with 22,155 thefts, followed by January with 21,384, and November with 20,080.