PIERCE COUNTY, Wash. - As frigid temperatures continue in parts of the country, police are warning car owners to not leave their vehicles unattended while warming them up.
In Washington state, Pierce County Sheriff's Department spokesman Ed Troyer told Seattle's KIRO-TV that in the past two days, 30 percent of stolen cars were due to owners running their vehicles unattended.
On Monday, one victim told KIRO that she was washing her dog in the back while she had her van warming up. Someone saw the van running, got inside and tried to drive off. After seeing the suspect, she yelled at her and the suspect ran away. The victim then chased after the suspect and deputies tracked down the suspect.
“I felt like the van moved a little bit, and it sounded and felt like somebody was getting into the vehicle,” said victim Ingra Aamodt. “I leave it out here running all the time. You know, who’s going to steal a mobile van?”
After Monday’s scare, Aamodt said she’ll make sure all her doors are locked.
“Even if you’re watching your car from your front door, somebody could hop right in your car and be gone,” said Aamodt.
Deputies are giving out a warning before the weather system later this week that is expected to bring snow to western Washington.
“That was one of the ones we got lucky on, but that also could have been something even worse,” said Troyer. “Starting your car, leaving your keys in your car? Bad idea.”
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