COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - As winter approaches, many drivers may decide to start their cars and leave them running to let it warm up.
The Columbus Police Department is asking drivers to think twice before doing so, because someone may try and steal your car.
"People get caught up in life," said Major Gil Slouchick with CPD. "And we have to remind them."
In January 2017, Columbus Police confirmed that a total of 94 cars were stolen in just 22 days.
"Half of those car thefts," Slouchick said, "the vehicles had the keys in them."
In many cases, Slouchick said, people don't want to lose that warmth, so they'll keep the car running while they go grab a snack inside a gas station.
"Believe it or not," he said, "there are people that drive around the gas station and they want to steal your vehicle so they can use it in burglaries and other crimes."
Slouchick also said drivers run the same risk leaving their cars running in a neighborhood - a potential prime target for burglars.
"It's not their car. They don't care," he said. "They'll bust a window out to get into your car because they don't care what they do with your car. I don't want you making your car comfortable for a crook because they will come take your vehicle."
CPD says this problem is not specific to one area in Columbus, meaning any neighborhoods in the North, South are targets for burglars.
Police also want to remind drivers there are products they can buy, like protective windshields and de-icing sprays, to prevent frost from building up and delaying your morning commute.