Stilwell woman who left car running to warm up watches it get stolen

Posted at 5:44 PM, Nov 12, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-12 19:25:12-05

STILWELL, Kan. — A Stilwell resident who turned on her car to let it warm up during the recent cold snap watched as a man got into her vehicle and drove away. 

Audrey Wilson, who has lived in Stilwell for more than 13 years, thought she was safe to leave her car running in her driveway over the weekend. She was inside her home for less than a minute when she saw a car pull up in her driveway and a man get out.

"I said 'Hi, good morning. Can I help you?' He said 'hi' and he just kept walking. And he kept walking toward my driver's side and I started realizing what was happening," Wilson said.

As the man got into her car, she started to run after him. 

"As he hit the car into drive, he looked me in the face and flipped me off," Wilson said.

Her newly purchased car was gone, just after she had gotten it fixed after hitting a deer about a month ago.

Police said these car thefts can happen to anyone.

"Like I always say, crime has no address. It can happen anywhere," said officer John Lacy, a spokesman for the Overland Park Police Department.

Two cars that were left running have been reported stolen so far this month, according to Overland Park police. 

One of those cars was returned, but a dog who was inside the vehicle was missing.

"We're looking for the canine at this time, the yorkie. It's a cute little yorkie," Lacy said.

For those who don't want to get into a cold car in the winter, Lacy has one piece of advice: "I got a good one for you. Just put on more layers."

Kansas City, Missouri police said officers are on the lookout for cars that are left running and stolen at this time of year. 

In some places, including Overland Park and KCMO, it is illegal to leave a car running, and drivers can get a ticket.

Police said the warmth is not worth the risk of losing a car.