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Police warn that El Paso car thefts ‘do go up’ as temperatures drop

EL PASO, Texas (KVIA) -- As temperatures drop, the El Paso Police Department is warning that car thefts can go up. A police spokesman says it is partially due to people leaving cars unsecured and unattended to warm them up before leaving.

"Most modern vehicles don't need to be warmed up for them to work mechanically," Sgt. Robert Gomez said. "Most of the time, it's being warmed up for the comfort of the driver. Your comfort, your discomfort for a few minutes is not worth losing your vehicle. You're going to have way more problems in discomfort when you lose your vehicle because you left it running while it was being warmed up."

Police departments nationwide urge drivers to keep cars in park and keep doors and windows closed and locked.

In Las Cruces earlier this year, it took a suspect about ten seconds to climb inside an unsecured vehicle and drive it out of a driveway.

"They see an opportunity to steal a car, and fortunately the owner has made it very easy for criminals to take advantage of that situation," he said. "Yes they (car thefts) do go up. It's not significant, but it does happen. And the worst thing about this type of crime is it's 100% avoidable."

El Paso Police also warn that drivers could face other consequences too. In Texas, it's a Class C misdemeanor to leave a vehicle unattended and unsecured.

Article Topic Follows: ABC-7 Alert Center

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Madeline Ottilie

Madeline Ottilie is a reporter on Good Morning El Paso and co-anchors ABC-7 at noon.


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