ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -

St. Petersburg Police say that in an overwhelming majority of the car thefts reported, most were because the vehicle's owner left the keys in the ignition.

In a news release on Thursday, officials in the Gulf coast city said that a key was used in 460 out of 551 vehicle thefts, or 83 percent.

Officials said that in most cases, drivers left the keys in the ignition or somewhere easily accessible inside the vehicle.

St. Petersburg Mayor Bill Foster talked about this during a recent candidate forum.

Police say that despite the increase of thefts this year, the number of vehicle thefts remains down 19% compared to the previous five-year-average.