KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — There were 761 vehicle thefts in Knoxville last year, according to the Knoxville Police Department. 

Police said 247 of them were because owners left their keys inside and in 79 of them, the engines were still running.

Simply locking your car and taking your keys are two things officers said can make all of the difference. 

"A lot of times we see the unlocked cars in residential areas, people feel safe they feel secure they're in an apartment complex or parking their car at their house and unfortunately we see people taking that as an opportunity to unlock your vehicle," Knoxville Police Department  Lieutenant Chris McCarter.

Besides locking doors, police said not to leave purses, wallets, or other valuables in plain view. They also said not to leave spare keys in an obvious spot on or in your car.