Winter Warm-Up Thefts

Brrrr! No one wants to get into a cold vehicle in the morning to drop the kids off at school or head to work. A typical scenario is this: 

It's one COLD morning and you think to yourself, “I need to get the car warmed up.” You go out to start your car to get the frost off the windows and turn the heat on so it gets nice and toasty. After you start your vehicle, you run back inside to grab the rest of your things before heading out for the day. When you open the door to leave, you notice that your vehicle has disappeared! You have become a winter warm-up victim. 

About four out of ten people leave their vehicles unattended while they are running on cold mornings. This leaves a huge window of opportunity for thieves to steal your vehicle right out of your driveway. During the winter months, vehicle thefts rise about 25 percent. Thieves will drive around in groups though neighborhoods searching for idling, empty vehicles. It is easy for thieves to spot vehicles running and unattended in the winter months due to the visible tailpipe emissions. These car thieves may use your vehicle to get from point A to point B, take it for a joyride, commit another crime with it or might live in it for a while before abandoning it. They may also attempt to sell your vehicle, so it is recommended to not leave your title and registration inside the car. 

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, driving your vehicle helps your engine and interior heat up faster rather than idling in front of your home. It's best to clear the frost from your vehicle’s windows then get in and gently drive off. This will help prevent wear and tear on your vehicle’s engine. We recommend parking inside a garage if you have the opportunity to do so. This is your best option to avoid having your vehicle stolen or prevent any type of theft from your vehicle from occurring. 

DO NOT allow your vehicle to idle inside your garage! If you do not have a garage or cannot use your garage, never leave your keys in your vehicle. Keep all of your valuables out of your vehicle when you’re not in your vehicle and most importantly, NEVER LEAVE A WEAPON IN YOUR VEHICLE. If you do become a victim, you should contact the Maryland Heights Police Department, at 314-298-8700, ext. 1, as soon as possible.

Be Safe!
- Officer Terry Mancusi