Santa Monica surfers beware; someone is targeting you. Most surfers don’t live close enough to the beach to walk there carrying their surfboards. Like everyone else in Southern California, to get where they’re going, they’re forced to drive. This fact has lead to the time-honored tradition of surfers leaving their keys in the wheel wells of their vehicles when they head out into the sea. Unfortunately, someone has recently been taking advantage of that knowledge at Will Rodgers State Beach and other places.

According to one victim, he left his keys in the wheel well of his car parked near PCH and Sunset Blvd. only to return later and find that his car was gone. Unfortunately, this man wasn’t the only victim. Recently, a number of surfers have come forward to report similar crimes. Not everyone loses their car, some just have wallets, cell phones and purses stolen. In these cases, many of the victims have also reported having their debit/credit cards used at a variety of locations around Southern California.

While it’s never the victim’s fault when they are the target of a crime, it’s important to remember that the world is neither fair nor just – at least,  not all the time. In theory, a person should be able to leave their keys wherever they want without fear, but that just isn’t the case. Behavior that is detrimental to society exists, that’s why doors lock, why laws are written, and why police are required. It’s also why we need to take extra care not to do things that put us at unnecessary risk. Most thieves are opportunists, and leaving keys to a car that contains valuables inside represents a golden opportunity for them to ply their trade. Especially when its in a situation in which the owner of the car is probably far away and not paying any attention.