03/26/2013 11:28 am ET Updated Mar 26, 2013

Police Car Stolen, Crashed After D.C. Officer Leaves Keys In Ignition

WASHINGTON -- Let's file this under "reasons not to leave your car keys in the ignition."

Police are looking for a suspect who stole, then crashed a D.C. police cruiser in the 1600 block of Fort Davis Drive in Southeast Washington Monday afternoon. The Washington Post reports the car was left unlocked with the keys still inside.

"The vehicle should have been secured, but it was not, and the keys should not have been inside the vehicle, and they were," Commander Robert Contee of D.C.'s sixth district said.

The stolen vehicle made it just one block before crashing onto a lawn.

Reports say the unidentified police sergeant, who left his car unattended while responding to a 911 call, was formerly assigned to the auto theft unit. The 10-year police veteran could face disciplinary action.

According to the Washington Times, 18 cars are stolen every day in the Nation's Capital. The Metropolitan Police Department's own auto theft prevention fact sheet lists as tip number one: "An unlocked vehicle with a key in the ignition is an open invitation to any thief...."

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