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Wednesday, February 16, 2022
Thieves Are Stealing Cars that are Left with Engines Running
Cars that are ‘warming up’ in the morning are being targeted
Modern cars are very difficult to steal unless the keys or fobs are inside them. Virtually all cars are stolen because the owners have left the keys inside, or because they’ve walked away ‘for just a minute’ while the engine is running.
During the cold months of winter, drivers often start their cars to let them warm up or they leave their cars running to stop at a convenience store or gas station briefly. Wintertime is a car thief’s candy store.
Recently, groups of thieves have been driving through residential neighborhoods looking for cars left running in driveways while the unsuspecting owner is inside their home sipping coffee. When the group spots a car with its engine running, one member of the group will hop out of the suspect vehicle, slip into the victim’s car, and drive away. Thieves have stolen multiple cars in some neighborhoods this way; it’s so easy. Although this hasn’t occurred in the Village yet, if we leave our cars running, it certainly will happen here eventually.
You can prevent this crime of opportunity—so please do you part:
• Never leave your car running—not even for a minute. It’s not only against the law*, it is foolish. Take your key or fob, and lock the car.
• It’s way more efficient to just get in and drive—don’t wait for ‘warm-up.’ Gasoline and diesel engines warm up much more quickly if the car is being driven. A car idling in a driveway takes far longer to come up to operating temperature.
• Keep an eye out in the morning and report suspicious cars or people. If you see an unfamiliar car cruising the neighborhood with several people inside, call the Village police. We will respond and investigate.
*We realize that some cars have technology that allows them to be started remotely while simultaneously preventing the car from being stolen if the fob is not inside the car. If your car has such technology, the law allows the car to run unattended for up to 5 minutes.