Thieves target unattended vehicles in frigid temps - WNEM TV 5

Thieves target unattended vehicles in frigid temps

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SAGINAW, MI (WNEM) -

Mid-Michiganders are seeking ways to beat Old Man Winter at his game by any means necessary.

"It's just so cold all the time, I have to have it running like 30 minutes in advance to even be warmed up by the time I get out here to drive it." said Michael Frank, on warming up his car unattended.

That's why Franks says he says he stays inside the house, waiting for his car to warm up before he heads off to work.

 "I do it every single day, don't even think about it," said Franks

 "It is not a good idea," said Det. Scott Jackson, with the Saginaw County Auto Theft Team. He says leaving your running car unattended is an invitation for thieves.

"People generally like to make things a little more convenient for themselves, their car running at a convenience store or in their driveway to get the snow and ice off their windows, unfortunately a lot of people leave their keys in the car, and that makes people a target to be a victim," explains Jackson.

 Jackson says these types of crimes are rarely just about the vehicle.

"A lot times these cars are used in other types of activities, illegal activities whether they are a hit and run accident or shootings or used by the criminal element," said Jackson.

He says it is simply not worth it.

"The few seconds it takes you to take your keys out of the car, run into the local store, come out  and start, you're going to have a warm car," Jackson said.

Leaving a vehicle running and unattended is also against state law.

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