Local News

Cars stolen while being left to de-ice

Posted January 6, 2010

— The Raleigh Police Department is urging residents not to leave vehicles running, even for short periods of time. Every winter, vehicles are stolen as motorists let them warm up before driving.

Police: Don't leave cars unattended and running Police: Don't leave cars unattended and running

Carolyn Culbreth, a Raleigh mother working two jobs, likes to warm her car up early in the morning before driving to work.

“I was always told that you always warm your car up a little bit,” she said.

Culbreth said she was inside her home on Chatmoss Drive for just a few minutes when it was stolen.

“I could hear my car taking off and when I ran out on the front porch, the car was at the end of the road,” she recalled.

Among the 16 cars stolen over the last week, Raleigh police said five were left unattended and running. The cars were stolen in front of homes, apartment complexes and convenient stores.

“Under no circumstances do we encourage them to leave their cars unattended while it's running,” Raleigh police Capt. Kim Swinson said.

Narcisco Simon said his car was stolen around 9 p.m. Monday after he left it running and unattended on N. New Hope Road. He said he has since had a second set of keys made so he can lock his vehicle while warming it's up.

"When I start it, I lock my car and go inside," Simon explained.

Culbreth said she isn't taking any more chances. With her car stolen, she is now using her mother's vehicle.

“So I know tomorrow morning, when I start her car, I got to stay in it and then go on my journey,” Culbreth said.

When keys are left inside, car theft victims often have to pay to change the locks to their home and car. Police recommend investing in a remote car starter to avoid becoming a theft victim.


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  • NCAries Jan 7, 2010


    That's the same thing I thought when I heard this report on the news. Common sense must be in short supply nowadays.

  • Titus Pullo Jan 7, 2010

    Studpid is as stupid does.

  • cary1969 Jan 6, 2010

    i bet they cut the car off at stoplights b/c they think it saves fuel too...

  • cary1969 Jan 6, 2010

    i don't care who you are..that right there is funny

  • JustOneGodLessThanU Jan 6, 2010

    Yes, scorekeep & itls, you need to take some responsibility for your actions...to reduce your lure to a thief, mugger, identity thief, etc.

    Many crimes are of opportunity. Think of this as self-preservation - as you do when you lock the doors to your house. In that case, you need to carry keys around with you whenever you’re not home.

  • Capitals Fan Jan 6, 2010

    I just crank mine up in the garage, roll down the window and sit in there for several minutes.

    Seriously, if you park your car in the garage, instead of using it to store a mountain of junk you don't really need, you don't have this problem. The coldest it has gotten in my garage this winter was 59 degrees.

  • wildcat Jan 6, 2010

    Get a second key and lock your car while it is running. You are just giving in to crime when you leave your car unlocked and the motor running. All the thief have to do is get in and drive off.

  • Bendal1 Jan 6, 2010

    I go walking in the afternoon after work, but before it turned really cold I was getting up before sunrise and walking before I went to work. Both in the morning and afternoon I'd see cars running in people's driveways with no one in them, just warming up and waiting for someone to jump in and drive off with them.

    I'm kind of surprised anyone still does this, actually. I just put on some gloves and the car warms up before I'm at the 3rd traffic signal on my way to work.

  • runinlat Jan 6, 2010

    i love how this has turned into "cold natured" people getting a life! Wow!Obviously, you need one...next subject please. It's great you never have complained or whined about ANYTHING....yeah right. Go do something productive...like start my car!!!!!!

  • makeitright Jan 6, 2010

    Maybe we should shooting car thieves on site. A little deterrent for the low hanging fruit takers.