Law enforcement warns drivers to not leave cars running unattended

FAIRWAY, Kan. - As the temperatures drop local police are issuing an important warning to drivers: once you start your car, don't leave it unattended. Area police said car thefts are on the rise across the metro.

"It can happen in a matter of seconds," Lieutenant JP Thurlo of the Fairway, Kansas Police Department said. 

He said the cold weather provides the perfect opportunity for car theft.

"More people are starting their cars and leaving them unattended because they want them to warm up. Right now we're seeing more stolen autos because of that," he said.

Wednesday, a man was almost run down in Fairway when after a thief hopped in his running car and sped off. Police are still looking for the criminal.

"You have to keep your car locked if you're not with it. If someone is casing out the area where they see that car, they can watch you go out to it and go back inside," Thurlo said.

With the colder weather, people are turning to area businesses like Santa Fe Auto Sound for solutions.

Adam Gerry, a service manager with Santa Fe Auto Sound said they're getting a lot of calls about remote starts to their vehicles. With a click of a button, drivers can keep warm and safe from criminals.

"As soon as they get in the vehicle, it's going to shut down. The car is going to stop running. Any factory security system that is involved in the car will be fully functional and go off. So you have a real element of security when you have a remote start," Gerry said.

Remote start systems can cost about $200 to $1,000 to install. It's an investment that may save drivers several thousands of dollars in the end.

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