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Warming up your car unattended could be welcome sign for thieves, police say

Cars left running
Posted at 5:36 PM, Jan 26, 2022

SOUTH EUCLID, Ohio — South Euclid police are trying to put the brakes on a troubling trend.

According to police, since December 1 there have been at least 10 cars left unlocked, idling with the keys in the ignition driven off by car thieves.

“They’re either warming up their cars, getting to their destination while they bring, in one case, Christmas packages inside,” said Officer Joe Di Lillo, South Euclid Police Public Information Officer.

On Christmas Eve, two cars were stolen in less than an hour.

“He left for five minutes, we were getting presents out of the car,” said one man captured on the officer’s body camera.

Police are warning residents to take steps to stay safe and keep their cars protected as well.

“We understand, we’re all human, you want to be warm if your taking your child to school or have a lengthy trip into work. Be proactive lock your car, have a second set of keys,” said Di Lillo. They also suggest investing in a remote car starter.

It is against the law to leave a vehicle running and unattended but there are exceptions.

Those exceptions include any vehicle parked on residential property, a locked car regardless of where it is parked, an Emergency or Public Safety vehicle, according to the Ohio Revised Code.

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