RPD: Cars warming up unattended are easy targets for thieves

The Raleigh Police Department said many cars have been stolen while their owners are heating them up.

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Bryan Mims
, WRAL reporter
RALEIGH, N.C. — If you must go out in freezing weather, it can be tempting to warm up the car, leaving it running in a driveway or parking lot. Once it's warm, you might consider leaving it running for a quick stop. But Raleigh police warn that a driver's temptation to stay warm is an invitation for thieves.

When you're in a hurry and seeking comfort, carelessness can quickly set in.

Sgt. Glenn Sorrell says it doesn't take long for a thief to see a running car, jump in and drive away. It only takes a couple of seconds, he said.

Sorrell sees this sort of thing happen every winter, and it all comes down robbing those thieves of the opportunity.

“I understand the thinking – it’s just that lapse of judgment right then, not thinking about the consequences,” Sorrell said. “It’s more of an opportunity to do something like that, to commit that sort of crime.”

Bottom line: Don't make it easy for a thief.

Sorrell made another point: It’s against the law to leave a running car unattended.

If it's in your own driveway or on private property, it needs to be locked and have the emergency brake on.

If you're just making a quick stop, the car won't get too cold in a couple of minutes, so turn it off and lock it up.


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