“Locking your unattended vehicle while it is warming up is not enough to keep it from being stolen,” Sgt. Mark Katre said. “It only takes a few seconds for someone to steal a car that is sitting unoccupied. In addition, people are faced with the possibility of a burglary at their home as their house keys are often on their vehicle key ring.”
The Reno Police Department receives reports of vehicles commonly stolen while left running and unattended at homes, gas stations, convenience stores and ATMs.
Katre said the best way to approach cold morning commutes is to start the vehicle and remain with it while using a scraper to remove frost from windows.
Area residents also should use the following tips to help prevent the theft of vehicles:
• Park in well lit areas and always lock the car when it is unattended.
• Never leave keys in the ignition or elsewhere in the vehicle.
• If a person's home has a garage, use it rather than parking outside where a vehicle can be more vulnerable.
• Don’t leave packages, purses, briefcases, automatic garage door openers, personal papers and mail or other items in plain view in your vehicle, which can invite a break-in and lead to vehicle theft, home burglary and identification theft.
• Never hide a second set of keys in your vehicle. Extra keys can easily be found, especially by experienced thieves who know the hiding places in vehicles.
• Never leave children unattended in a running vehicle, and never leave keys in the ignition with unattended children.