Police: Cold weather doesn’t stop car thieves

Don\'t let this happen to your car. This car was stolen with its keys left in the ignition and then wrecked. No matter what the weather, police say don\'t leave your keys in the car and don\'t leave it running unattended. (Courtesy Fairfax County Police Department)

WASHINGTON – The cold doesn’t stop car thieves.

That’s the message from Fairfax County police, who are reminding car owners to lock their vehicles and to remove valuables each night. Take stock of spare keys. And don’t leave your car running unattended.

Police say thefts of vehicles left running to warm up are not uncommon during cold weather. Just Wednesday, a woman left her car running to warm up on Bren Mar Drive while she returned inside. Thieves noticed the running car, jumped in and took off.

Police later caught the thieves.

But the hectic holiday season can provide car thieves with other opportunities to steal your car. Last year, 808 vehicles were reported stolen in the county.

Auto theft detectives offer these tips to protect your ride:

  • Never leave your keys in your vehicle.
  • Never leave your car running unattended.
  • Never leave valuables visible in your vehicle.
  • Consider installing anti-theft technologies and devices.
  • Park in well-lit areas when possible.
  • If your car is stolen, report it to police immediately.

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