The Spokane Police Department is urging drivers not to leave their vehicles unattended while warming them up in the cold of winter.
The department said it usually sees an uptick in stolen vehicles this time of year, a crime made easier when car owners leave their keys in the ignition. Cars often are stolen from homes, gas stations, convenience stores and ATMs.
“Locking your unattended vehicle while it is warming up is not enough to keep it from being stolen,” Capt. Brad Arleth said in a news release. “It only takes a few seconds for someone to steal a car or truck that is sitting unoccupied. In addition, people are faced with the possibility of a burglary at their home as their house keys are often on their vehicle key ring.”
Police said drivers should park in garages or well-lit areas, lock the doors, and never leave personal belongings or extra keys anywhere in a vehicle. Items left in plain view attract thefts, and experienced thieves know the common hiding places in a vehicle.
Police suggested scraping frost from the windows while waiting for cars to warm up.
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