Why theft of vehicles from delivery drivers has become a national trend.
"Get out of the car and put your hands on your head!" shouted one of six uniformed SMPD officers to a young female driver in a stolen white Prius C. They had been trailing the Prius for ten minutes, a few minutes after an Uber Eats delivery guy reported that someone had driven off with his car.
The vehicle, which belongs to the Company, is part of a trend noted recently by the SMPD, said an officer who spoke to us off the record, because he was not authorized to speak to the press.
"The delivery guys leave the keys in the ignition and the motor running, because they're just planning to run in with a bag of food, drop it off and return. It's cumbersome to park and turn off the vehicle and return," he said. "So they leave it running. The car thieves know this, and take advantage of it."
"This is a trend we've seen lately, with all the food and grocery deliveries, Amazon, what have you." He said he did not know if the woman had an explanation for why she was driving a stolen car. He couldn't say whether or not she would ultimately be charged. "That's for the DA to decide."
He said that this particular car was stolen from a location in Santa Monica. It had been reported quickly, and then tracked for a few minutes "until other units arrived, and the car was in a safe location for us to do a stop and apprehend the driver," the officer added.