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Car Thieves Take Advantage of Cold Weather

COLUMBUS -- Police reminded drivers that warming up an unattended car is an invitation to thieves. It is also illegal.

Jeremy Daughterty was one of several people who reported a stolen car this month in the Columbus area.

He said he had problems starting his girlfriend's car so he left it running and went back inside. When he returned less than 10 minutes later, the 2001 Pontiac Grand Prix license plate EPC6088 was gone.

It is the second time this week an idling car has been stolen in Whitehall, according to police.

Officers said, by law, idling cars must be attended.

"The only way to do it is to sit inside your car while it's warming up," Whitehall Sgt. Dan Kelso said. "Or watch it continuously a couple feet away if you have to."
Some newer models allow drivers to warm up the car without leaving the key in the ignition. Some vehicles can be locked while the engine is running.

Still, officers said the best option is to stay in the front seat.
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