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Don't Get Left Out in the Cold

The Raytown Police want to remind people that every year, area law enforcement agencies report an increase in the winter months of auto thefts as people leave their cars unattended to warm up or defrost the windows.

As the weather gets colder we expect to see more and more of this type of theft that can so easily be avoided. In addition, these vehicles are being taken in residential neighborhoods as opposed to the fronts of businesses where people routinely leave the car running to grab that “morning cup of coffee or breakfast roll.”

Anyone who leaves a vehicle running with the keys in the ignition is providing an opportunity for anyone walking by to take the car with absolutely “no effort”. In addition to the property loss of a car being stolen, the emotional aspect of having a vehicle taken with a child or an elderly person occupying the car could be devastating. In addition to the potential consequences of having a vehicle stolen, the humiliation alone should be cause to reconsider one’s actions. For most people their car is probably their 2nd largest investment. Most people wouldn’t leave their homes unlocked and unattended so why do they leave their car sitting in a driveway, on the street, or in a parking lot with the keys in the ignition and the engine running?

Criminals are an enterprising, opportunistic, self-motivated group that take delight in others misconception that, “it won’t happen to me.” These imaginative souls have even coined a term for these opportunities to relieve someone of their transportation. The bad guys refer to your unattended vehicle as a “puffer” as is descriptive of the vehicles exhaust as it sits idling.

Please help your local law enforcement agency by exercising forethought before leaving your vehicle unattended while running. It may not be a warm car when you get in, but it will sure save you from being left out in the cold.

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