Through the end of September 2017, auto thefts increased 11% citywide compared to the same period in 2016. Police officers are monitoring known offenders and high risk locations in order to prevent auto theft, but one of the most surprising reasons for the increase in stolen cars is the number of cars left running.

In 2016, through the end of September, approximately 111 vehicles were stolen because they were left running, accounting for 5% of the auto thefts. Through the end of September 2017, approximately 262 vehicles were stolen because they were left running, accounting for 15% of the vehicles stolen.

Cold weather is coming and more cars are left running during colder months to warm up the vehicle, which presents an easy target for car thieves. Stepping away from a running vehicle for even a few seconds to run into a store or unload packages presents an opportunity for a thief.