Permenter was Section 8219 of the Code of 1942 which, in its current codification, states in full:
No person driving or in charge of a motor vehicle shall permit it to stand unattended without first
stopping the engine, locking the ignition and removing the key, and, when standing upon any
perceptible grade, without effectively setting the brake thereon and turning the front wheels to the curb
or side of the highway.
Miss. Code Ann. § 63-3-909 (1996). Statutes of this type are hereinafter referred to as "key-in-ignition"
statutes. Of the other jurisdictions cited by this Court in Permenter, Louisiana has maintained the rule that
theft of an unattended car with keys in the ignition is an intervening agent cutting off liability for negligently
leaving the keys in the ignition. DeCasto v. Boylan, 367 So. 2d 83 (La. Ct. App. 1979). At the time of the
Permenter decision, Louisiana did not have a key-in-ignition statute. However one is now found at
Louisiana Rev. Stat. Ann. 32:145 (2001), and it is identical to Mississippi's key-in-ignition statute. The
DeCastro decision took this statute into account when it determined that the car owner was not liable.
DeCastro, 367 So. 2d at 84. Other states have been presented with the opportunity to interpret their key-
in-ignition statutes and have reached the same result
¶9. Alabama, Colorado, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Maryland, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Rhode
Island, South Carolina, and Washington, when interpreting key-in-ignition statutes similar-if not identical-to
Mississippi's, reached the same conclusion as this Court in Permenter. See Vines v. Plantation Motor
Lodge, 336 So. 2d 1338 (Ala. 1976); Lambotte v. Payton, 363 P.2d 167 (Colo. 1961); Long v. Hall
County Bd. of Comm'rs, 467 S.E.2d 186 (Ga. Ct. App. 1996); Gamble v. Kinch, 629 P.2d 1168
(Idaho 1981); Dillner v. Maudlin, 314 N.E.2d 794 (Ind. Ct. App. 1974) (the statute has since been
repealed); Hartford Ins. Co. v. Manor Inn of Bethesda, Inc., 642 A.2d 219 (Md. 1994); Spurlock v.
Alexander, 468 S.E.2d 499 (N.C. Ct. App. 1996); Pendrey v. Barnes, 479 N.E.2d 283 (Ohio 1985);
Merchants Delivery Serv., Inc. v. Joe Esco Tire Co., 533 P.2d 601 (Okla. 1975) (but see Felty v.
City of Lawton, 578 P.2d 757 (Okla. 1977) (theft of car with keys in ignition and injury to another can be
foreseeable in special circumstances)); Keefe v. McArdle, 280 A.2d 328 (R.I. 1971); Stone v. Bethea,
161 S.E.2d 171 (S.C. 1968); Pratt v. Thomas, 491 P.2d 1285 (Wash. 1971); Meihost v. Meihost, 139
N.W.2d 116 (Wis. 1966). Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Utah also follow this rule. See Terry v. City of
Detroit, 573 N.W.2d 348 (Mich. Ct. App. 1997); Liney v. Chestnut Motors, Inc., 218 A.2d 336 (Pa.
1966); Rollins v. Petersen, 813 P.2d 1156 (Utah 1991) (but see Cruz v. Middlekauff Lincoln-
Mercury, Inc., 909 P.2d 1252 (Utah 1996) (allowing for a common law cause of action against the car
¶10. After reviewing how other jurisdictions have addressed the problem, we find the larger number of
jurisdictions still favor the view that the negligent driving of the car thief operates as an intervening cause
which supersedes the liability of the car owner who negligently leaves the keys in the ignition of the car. We
are of the opinion that the general public should be assumed to obey the laws and not appropriate for
themselves vehicles they do not own, even where the key is left in the ignition of the vehicle. Where a thief
acts unlawfully and steals the vehicle, the thief's negligent and unlawful driving of the vehicle after the theft
constitutes an intervening act which supersedes the liability of the negligent owner of the vehicle.
¶11. The facts in the present case are thus "on all fours" with our established and well-reasoned precedent,
Permenter. We decline to overrule its holding. The trial court's ruling is correct as Southern Heritage
cannot offer nor prove any set of facts which support its claim of negligence.