© 2022 Cincinnati Public Radio
Connecting You to a World of Ideas
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
Local News

Why you shouldn't leave your car running while you run a quick errand

Tana Weingartner

Cincinnati police are launching a public awareness campaign aimed at making sure your car isn't the next one reported stolen.

Police want you to think twice before leaving your car running to warm up or while you run inside a convenience store. Lieutenant Colonel James Whalen says, "In the City of Cincinnati last year we had over 1,200 cars stolen. That represents an almost 20 percent increase from 2012. And, so far, year-to-date we have more than 230 cars stolen, which represents an additional 10 percent increase."

He says thieves wait for you to leave your car running for a quick trip into a store for coffee then hop in and drive off. In fact, 56 percent of Cincinnati's auto thefts are directly the result of people leaving their cars running to warm-up in the winter, cool-off in the summer, or while they run quick errands.

"These cars are used in robberies," says Whalen. "These cars are involved in car chases that endanger people later on. Juveniles and unlicensed people wind up with access to vehicles that they don't have to care about. They can beat it up, wreck it, leave it out of gas, and leave it and they don't have to care."

As part of the public awareness campaign, police are passing out door hangers in high-theft areas advising people not to leave their keys in their cars.