How to avoid car theft this winter

St. Joseph county, and. – Warm-up thefts are on the rise this winter season. It’s important to remember to lock your car doors and don’t leave your vehicle unattended.

Sgt. Ted Bohner with the Indiana state police said car theft significantly goes up during the wintertime and it is mostly due to people leaving their keys and cars running unattended to warm up.

According to the national insurance crime bureau, there has been an 88 percent increase in car thefts with keys inside from 2013 to 2018.

These thefts seem to occur more often around the winter and fall months when cars are likely to be left unattended.

Sgt. Bohner tells me the dangers of leaving your car left alone is that it can be stolen, especially when it's unlocked and running.

“Auto theft is typically a crime of opportunity and when you do that, you are giving the opportunity to somebody that may want to steal your car. And unfortunately, it happens,” Sgt. Bohner said.

To help prevent car theft, Sgt. Bohner said drivers should stay near their cars when it's warming up. He said don’t leave the car unlocked at any time because that not only increases the chance of car theft but also personal items in your car being taken. Finally, don’t leave your car unattended even for a second.

If your car does get stolen, file a police report,have your car registration on hand, and a description of your car to help law enforcement locate it.

“Having your car stolen is quite an uncomfortable experience. It’s just worth it to just get out there, stay with your car while it's warming up, clean your windshield off, all your windows, brush the snow off, and by the time you have that done your car should be warmed up,” Sgt. Bohner said.

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