Warming up cars leads to thefts

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Idling a car on a chilly morning is a ritual police said we should stop.

Fresno Police Sgt. Mark Hudson said it makes cars too easy to steal. "We're seeing this time of year, when the weather gets colder we are seeing people starting their car, letting them warm up while they go back inside for that extra cup of coffee and what we've seen is when this happens, you know, this can be avoided, people are coming out finding their cars are stolen. "

The colder weather has coincided with a surge in car thefts. In the past month 282 cars were stolen in Fresno. That's 50 more than the month before, a nearly 23-percent increase.
Hudson said cars left running are one of the reasons for the surge. "There are suspects that go early in the morning to look for cars unattended left idling out in front of somebody's house where they are just taking them right out of the driveway."

While many drivers simply turn the cars on to clear frost off the windows and warm up the inside, some also believe they need to let the car idle for several minutes to "lubricate" the engine. Mechanics said cars made in the last 20 years need no more than 30 seconds of warm up time, if any.
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