TPD sending warning after 13 cars stolen with keys in the ignition
TOLEDO, OH. (WNWO)--It's tempting to get inside of your car, start the engine to warm it up and then walk away.
But take heed from the mistakes of others – – just don't do it.
"I was at the gas station 2 seconds, came back out and a guy was pulling off in my car," said Chonelle Williams.
Police were eventually able to locate her car, but not before thieves destroyed it.
"My steering wheel cover, my floor mats, they stole my radio, my baby's car seat... they took everything," said Williams
Last year Toledo Police say they saw a decrease in car thefts. In January alone they've seen at least 15 cars stolen, 13 of them people left the car running with the keys in the ignition.
"It just presents a huge crime opportunity for somebody walking past that vehicle who just see it there sitting and running," said Captain Heffernan of TPD.
While some find the numbers to be a bit concerning, others like Toledo resident Rick Miller aren't surprised.
"A lot of people if they see an opportunity they're going to go for it," said Miller
Thieves aren't just going after running cars but the one's standing still.
"Sometimes we experience theft of rims, every once inm a while we'll see groups that steal tires or rims but they're usually from out of town," said Capt. Heffernan.
Since 2004, i Ohio law has made it illegal to leave your car running, but there's also another option to limit the cold , one where to avoid legal worries-- an automatic starter.
Temperatures in the Midwest have been frigid this winter,but better to suffer a little cold in the car than to go without one at all.