SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) – It happens a lot, this time of year, people start their cars and leave them unattended to warm up. The Sioux City Police Department said it’s a trend that plays right into the hands of thieves.
Since October 1, there have been 41 cars stolen. This is a reminder to all of us that leaving our car running and unattended is never a good idea.
“I’d expect it in a bigger city. This is a community where everyone knows everybody, and it’s sad we have to lock our cars up,” said Elaine Skrdlant.
Skrdlant has been a victim of theft in the past. That’s why she always keeps a close eye on things.
“It happens you don’t expect it, and yeah, it’s sad,” said Skrdlant.
That’s why the Sioux City Police Department is urging people not to make it easy for car thieves.
“Sometimes people like to hide the keys under one of the mats or where the gas cap lid is. You don’t want to leave your keys with the car at any point in time,” said Officer Andrew Dutler with the Sioux City Police Department.
Dutler says using a remote start is the best option because most not only automatically start your, but lock your doors too.
“Look to see if you can maybe upgrade that because anytime you leave your keys in the vehicle there’s obviously a high risk that the vehicle may be stolen,” said Dulter.
The department wants to encourage car owners to report car theft. Also, if you are caught in possession of a stolen vehicle you could face jail time.
“A possible theft charge just depending on how much that car is worth and then operating without the owner’s consent would be the other charge,” said Dutler.
The Sioux City Police Department has recovered 36 of the 41 vehicles stolen since October 1. But, Skrdlant said she’d rather just hang on to her car.
“Just be careful where you park and make sure it’s locked and when you’re going to warm it up, you, unfortunately, have to stay with it,” said Skrdlant.
While talking about theft, people will go start the holiday shopping. It’s always a good idea to hide those gifts if you are planning on leaving them in your vehicle or take them out as soon as you can to keep them from being stolen.