Thieves targeting cars left running to warm up

By: Parrish Alleman Email
By: Parrish Alleman Email

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Wichita, Kan. -- As temperatures are dropping, police say thieves have already started taking off in cars left running and unattended.

Last year 52 cars were stolen while left running in west Wichita alone.

"Usually our first frost, people start doing it on a regular basis,” Officer Roddy Winder with the Wichita Police Department said.

Thieves strike at apartment complexes, outside homes, even convenience stores.

“They think they're only to be gone a few seconds. They come back out and their cars are gone. It's pretty quick and it happens quite frequently,” Officer Winder said.

Officer Roddy Winder says most of the thefts are a crime of opportunity, although some people are out there looking for running cars left unattended.

"We did have groups last year that they road around together and they'd see vehicles and get out one at a time to take vehicles,” Winder said.

Officer Winder says locking your car after you start it won't stop thieves from breaking the windows. The only way to completely protect your car is never leave it running when you're not in it.

"Thieves look for this kind of activity, don't make their job easy for them,” Officer Winder said.

It is actually also against state law to leave your car running while unattended unless you have a remote starter.


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