After keys go missing, woman’s car stolen in broad daylight

Car thefts might be down 20% from last year in Tuscaloosa, but it’s still happening. Even in broad daylight.

Leaving keys in the car isn’t uncommon. People run inside to pick up a to-go order, pump gas or leave them so they run back inside for a forgotten item all the time.

Usually, nothing happens. But as one local woman discovered a few weeks ago, that’s not always the case.

“I didn’t ever think something like this would happen to me, but somebody is always watching when you don’t think that they are,” the victim, who does not want to be identified, said.

Two weeks ago, she said she couldn’t find the keys to her black Ford Mustang and concluded she must have misplaced them. But in the back of her mind, she worried it was something worse.

“I even went back to the places I had been,” she said. “I just had a gut feeling that someone stole my keys.”

On Monday, that Mustang was stolen from R&CO Salon in south Tuscaloosa.

Investigators are reviewing surveillance video to determine exactly what happened.

“It’s possible they had the missing key,” said Tuscaloosa Police Department Capt. Kip Hart.

If you ever find yourself in a similar position, Hart said, you can take steps to mitigate potential theft.

“You could take it to a locksmith,” Hart said. “They have the licenses and verifications to have new key fobs made.”

Car dealerships can provide the same service.

If you see the black Mustang, which features an aftermarket grille, investigators have this advice:

“By no means should you try to follow it and take matters into your own hands,” Hart said. “Just call us and let us know where you are.”

The vehicle has not yet been located, but the owner said she’s grateful the incident wasn’t any worse.

“I am just glad I didn’t come in contact with the guy,” she said. “If this person was brave enough to come in a back parking lot in the middle of the day, we don’t know what they are capable of.”

If you can help police locate the person or stolen vehicle, please contact Tuscaloosa Police Department at 205-349-2121.

A total of 167 vehicle thefts have been reported this year in Tuscaloosa. Of those, most have been recovered.

Categories: Crime, Featured, Local News