Car thieves on the look out for running vehicles in the winter

Dearborn — People should not leave their vehicles running and unattended, especially with the keys in the ignition, the Police Department said.

“In the winter, it is understandable that residents want to warm their vehicles up before driving,” Police Chief Ronald Haddad said. “The problem is that car thieves also know this and use this opportunity to quickly steal vehicles. That leaves owners without a source of transportation and with a serious inconvenience or serious loss.”

The city has a local ordinance that prohibits leaving a vehicle running while unattended when the key is in the ignition. The ordinance does not apply to automatic car starters, when the key is not in the ignition.

“The spirit of this ordinance is the protection of our citizens,” Haddad said. “It is our hope that bringing this to public attention will help us work together to prevent our citizens from falling prey to a preventable crime.”

Parents should never leave children in a vehicle unattended, Haddad said.