Starting your car early could cost you

By Brandi Hodges - bio | email

PARAGOULD, AR (KAIT) – When it's cold outside a number one concern is staying warm!  One way we keep the cold out may be a welcome sign for thieves.

Drive up any street in Region 8 when it's cold outside and you are likely to see cars running with nobody inside.

"There's always the chance somebody could steal your car," said Sgt. Mark Walker.

No matter where you live it is possible thieves could spot your car.

"Criminals tend to look for the easy targets," said Walker.

Sergeant Mark Walker with the Paragould Police Department said the incidents of auto thefts from a car left running are low but it does happen.

"That's going to be a real easy one to steal.  You're going to get the car and all the property in it," said Walker.

Earlier this week a Columbia Missouri police officer's car was stolen from her home.

"If you leave your car running then you're just making it real easy to be a victim or to have some sort of accident," said Walker.

In addition to just warming your car, some will leave their car running while they run into a store leaving the door open for thieves.  Sgt. Walker said there's another big danger that could happen at the gas station.

"A lot of people when they're pumping their gas will leave their car running and get back in the car.  When they get back out there's a danger of static electricity actually igniting the fumes from the tank," said Walker.

To keep you and your car safe, Sgt. Walker has some simple advice.

"Stay in your car if it is running.  If you get out of it shut it off," said Walker.

Just Friday morning in Beebe a car that was left running was stolen from a gas station.  The thief let a five-year-old child out of the car in the freezing cold before taking off with the vehicle. Sgt. Stephen McDaniel with the Jonesboro Police Department warns, you should never leave a child unattended in a car.

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