Police urge residents to avoid idling cars to warm up

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.– April Lay was in the middle of her busy morning routine. While getting her three children ready for school Tuesday morning, she went outside her apartment at the Spanish Oaks on the east side to warm her car up.

“I went back in the house, looked out my window five minutes later and my car was gone,” Lay said.

With their only vehicle now gone, Lay and her family are in a tough spot.

“I just want my vehicle back,” she said. “I want my means of being able to take care of my family back.”

About 20 minute earlier, the same thing happened on the northwest side.

A man, who did not want to share his name, had left his car running outside his house on West 36th Street. As he walked out the door with his children, he actually saw his own car speeding away down the street.

“And I’m running down the street, chasing it like a fool,” he told Fox59. “Knowing I can’t catch a car.”

It’s what police call a crime of opportunity, and it happens every year when the weather starts getting cold.

“It’s 100 percent preventable,” said IMPD Sgt. Linda Jackson.

Metro Police are urging residents to avoid making the same mistake, especially after a rash of vehicle thefts last winter.

“Just to be on the safe side, If you’re going to warm your car up, sit in your car with it,” Jackson said. “Don’t leave it unattended.”

Of course, it is tempting when the temperatures dip really low and the car windows are iced up, but after losing her car to crime, Lay said she won’t fall for that temptation again.

“I’ll sit in the car from now on,” Lay said. “I’ll freeze until it’s warm for the kids to come out.”

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