RPD: Cars warming up unattended are easy targets for thieves

Posted February 20, 2020 9:12 p.m. EST
Updated February 20, 2020 9:13 p.m. EST

— If you're driving when the elements are cold and messy, it might be tempting to the keep your car running while you make a quick stop.

Or, say you like to heat up your car in the driveway or parking lot because you dread sitting in an icebox.

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

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

Sgt. Glenn Sorrell says it doesn't take long for a thief to see a running car and make a run for it.

It only takes a couple of seconds, he said.

Since late November, 40 cars have been stolen in Raleigh while they were left running in parking lots, gas stations and driveways, Sorrell said.

He 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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