VIGO COUNTY, Ind. (WTHI)- When it's a chilly morning the last thing you want to do is get in a cold car and that's why many of us start it up, before getting in.
This leaves your car vulnerable to warm-up thefts.
According to Indiana State Police, 5 a.m. to 6 a.m. is the prime time for theft and stolen cars. Thieves wait for you to turn your car on and steal it while it's unattended.
When you leave your car running in the morning, most times you're not there watching it while it heats up.
Some of us go back inside to get dressed or sip on that morning coffee. "Warm-up Thieves" wait for this opportunity, especially in suburbs.
Sergeant Matt Ames with Indiana State Police tells us that stolen vehicles are one of their biggest issues during the colder months.
"There's definitely an increase for calls here in the Terre Haute area especially in the Vigo County area in reference to stolen cars because people go outside they want their car to be warm and they're ready to go and they start their cars and just leave them there," Ames explained.
Here are some ways to avoid risks:
Even it's bitter cold, never leave your car runnings or the keys in the ignition.
Keep your car parked in a well-lit area.
If you live in a neighboorhood.. leave your porch lights on to shine on your vehicle.
Always roll the windows up and avoid leaving valuables in sight.
"Make sure you're leaving your car locked behind you, if you have a transmission lock make sure you're transmission is locked as well. Stand and watch your vehicle so that way if somebody does attempt to take your vehicle you can stop it," Ames said. "If your car does get stolen, alert police so that we can help return your car to you."