Omaha Police Department Crime Prevention Specialist Bridget Fitzpatrick says this is a crime of opportunity. No one likes the cold weather and when someone out walking sees a warm, running car that is like an open invitation for them.
Specialist Fitzpatrick says, “It made a sensation today because so many were stolen quickly, all together. It happens every single winter. People don’t like the cold. They don’t want to go out to their cars to warm them up and they leave the keys in them unattended. There are people out there looking for a free, warm ride. We always tell people don’t do it, don’t do it, don’t do it. This is a perfect example of people not listening.”
Specialist Fitzpatrick says it only takes a thief seconds to spot a running vehicle in the driveway, a convenience store or in the front of a business. She says options include an automatic car starter with a security system. Even then Specialist Fitzpatrick recommends using a club device on the steering wheel. She says thieves often break windows of locked cars left running and the club is an added piece of security. Another option is to wait inside your car while it warms up, with the doors locked.