PORTLAND, Tenn. (WKRN) – The Portland Police Department is reminding the public to stay vigilant after a man’s car was stolen from a gas station.

Police said the victim left his car unlocked and the engine running, making it as easy as possible for the car thieves to victimize him.

Surveillance video from the incident on Jan. 11 at the gas station in the 5500 block of Highway 31 West shows the victim getting out of his Toyota Corolla and going inside the store.

The video shows a passenger in a silver Hyundai saunter over to the unlocked running car, get in, and then drive away. Then the video shows the victim racing out of the store, towards his car streaking away.

Police told News 2 this was a simple crime of opportunity.

“You cannot do that in this day and age. You are just asking for it because there are people out there who will see it and they will take it; that’s the way it is,” Lt. Jason Arnold with the Portland Police Department said.

At the gas station where the crime happened, most patrons know the golden rule of not leaving your car running with the doors unlocked.

One man told News 2 he never leaves his car unlocked. His partner said there’s just too much to lose.

“I usually lock it and keep the keys in my pocket my vehicle is pretty important to me.”

However, while at the pumps News 2 saw a pickup truck running with the keys in the ignition and spoke to the man once he returned from inside. He told News 2 leaving his keys in the car is a bad habit.

“These things do not have to happen. It doesn’t take much – shut the car off, take the keys with you, do what you have to do, come back, start the car and leave,” Arnold added.

The good news is the stolen car was found a few days later in a remote stretch of Nashville. The car’s condition is unknown.

Police said the thieves also stole the man’s passport.

If you recognize the car thief or the silver Hyundai they were driving, call Portland police at 615-325-3434. The Hyundai had aftermarket wheels, according to police.