CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Quick Trip partnered with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department in an initiative to prevent auto thefts, offering free drinks to those who didn't leave their keys in their car.
CMPD says the initiative focuses on educating drivers as car thefts have spiked over the last three months.
"They're stolen usually by juveniles to go from one place to another skipping school or to go do other crimes like break into houses or do more auto thefts or larceny from autos," said CMPD Cpt. J.D. Thomas.
"It's one of the crimes if we can lower that number it helps us in many different areas."
At least 85 vehicles have been stolen with keys left in the ignition between November and February, according to Police. That's a 67 percent increase from the 51 auto thefts that happened the previous year during the same time period.
Police say the thefts have occurred in private driveways and public areas, often times when people leave keys in the car while warming it up. CMPD is partnered with Quick Trip locations to reward drivers who show officers their keys.
Officers were at the following locations between 6:30 and 9 a.m. Wednesday:
- Metro - 3025 Wilkinson Boulevard
- Eastway 3206 Eastway Drive
- Hickory Grove 6721 Albemarle Road
- Steele Creek 2326 Sandy Porter Road