Cars left running are prime target for theft

Cars left running are prime target...

COLUMBIA, Mo. - Since Dec. 1, the Columbia Police Department has had seven reports of vehicles being stolen when left running to warm up, according to a media release. Sgt. Cyndi McLane with the Criminal Investigations Division reminds citizens to resist the urge to leave your vehicle unattended while it warms up.

"People think it won't happen to them,"Sgt. McLane says. "They think ‘my neighborhood is safe' or ‘I'll only be in there for a minute,' but it can happen anywhere at any time."

Yesterday at the 700 block of Mikel Street, a car was stolen while warming up. There have been six other reports ranging from the 5700 block of Freedom Drive to the 1000 block of Claudell Lane.

CPD recommends to:

  • Never leave your car running or the keys in the ignition when you're away from it, even if for "just a minute."
  • Always roll up the windows and lock the car, even if it's in front of your home.
  • Never leave valuables in plain view, even if your car is locked. Put them in the trunk or out of sight.
  • Remove portable electronic devices such as smart phones and GPS navigation systems from the vehicle.
  • Park in well-lit, public areas.
  • Carry the registration and insurance card with you. Don't leave personal identification documents or credit cards in your vehicle.

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