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Frosty morning car thief warning
5:24pm Wednesday 9th January 2013 in News
WITH temperatures set to drop below freezing tonight, police are warning county drivers not to leave their cars unattended with engines running in the morning.
Every winter, the force receives call from drivers who have had their cars stolen after leaving their keys in the engine, whilst they wait in the warmth of their home for the car to heat up and defrost the windscreen.
Mike Stephenson of the force said: "You wouldn't usually leave your car unlocked, unattended and with the keys in it, so why risk it in winter for the sake of a few minutes to heat your car up?
"That's all the time it takes for an opportunistic thief to drive off with your vehicle whilst you're waiting inside keeping warm.
"Despite repeated warnings, drivers continue to leave their cars unattended on driveways or on the street outside their properties in order to de-ice them. "Nobody seems to think it's going to happen to them but every winter we receive calls from people who are caught unawares by car thieves when their backs are turned.
"We haven't had too many frosty mornings so far this autumn and winter, but now the colder weather is catching up with us, I would urge drivers to heed this advice."
Mike added that drivers who ignore the warning are taking big risks. He said: "Thieves will drive around residential areas looking for likely targets - when they spot a vehicle with its engine left running on a drive or outside a home, it's there for the taking.
"One person will be dropped off, gets into the target vehicle and simply drives away. "Many of the vehicles are never recovered, and some - especially high value models- may be shipped overseas.
"It is also worth remembering if your car is stolen when keys have been left in it, you may find your insurance will not cover you.
"Thieves see frosty mornings as an opportunity - don't give them the satisfaction by taking unnecessary risks."
Anyone with information about car thefts should contact police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.