Don't leave cars with the engine running, unattended during cold mornings

Don't leave cars with the engine running, unattended during cold mornings

(WTVM) - As the weather gets colder, especially in the mornings, Columbus police are warning people who think they're saving time warming their car unattended.
However, law enforcement officials say this can give thieves the opportunity they are looking for.

It only takes a minute for your car to leave your sight after you put the keys in the ignition, turn on the engine, crank up the heat or the air conditioning, and go back inside.

Police say they usually find the stolen cars left on the side of the road after the person has driven out all the gas or the burglar gets to where they're going.
Columbus police patrol services also say there is an increase in car thefts around homes and apartments early in the morning in the cold weather when people leave their keys in the car to warm up or defrost windows.

"It's also a year-round problem around daycares where they d rop the child off and then they come out and the car is gone. It's not a safe practice to do anytime because okay, gr anted your car is locked but all I have to do is bust the window and I drive off with a vehicle and I'm gone down the road," said Major J.D. Hawk-Patrol Services

Major Hawk says you can use a lockdown mode which prevents someone from getting the car into gear. Also, remember your safety if you see your car being stolen.

"It's how fast you can get out of that house to stop them and do you want to. If you are not prepared to take back your car, it's cheaper to let the car go. Your life is worth more than the car," said Major Hawk.

There was a law in Georgia making it illegal to leave your car unattended while running, but it was repealed. It is still illegal in states such as South Carolina and West Virginia.

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