TRAVERSE CITY (AP) – Someone made off with cash and keys from the Traverse City mayor’s unlocked pick-up truck while it was parked outside his home.

Michael Estes says the early morning theft on Monday has taught him a lesson.

Estes never used to lock his vehicle, even when he left his wallet and both sets of keys inside his pickup truck.

“That changes now,” he said.

Estes says he had about $400 in the wallet, and it will cost him $700 to get a new key system for his truck, including the cost to have it towed. The mayor also is having the locks changed on his house, although he said he wasn’t certain he even had a house key.

“I never used one,” he said. “I will now.”

Police Capt. Brian Heffner said a thief or thieves are regularly targeting unlocked cars in the city.

“These individuals have not entered any locked cars,” Heffner told the Traverse City Record-Eagle. “If people lock their cars, these individuals pass them up because apparently they are finding enough unlocked cars in the city.”

Estes said his daughter also parked a car in his driveway the night of the robbery, and she lost about $100 from her wallet and her car keys.

“She followed in my footsteps, this misguided philosophy – she’s trusting of people,” he said.

(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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