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Police urge people to not leave vehicles running and unattended after recent thefts

Updated: December 03, 2019 06:12 PM

Police in St. Paul are reminding people not to leave their cars running and unattended after several vehicles have been stolen in the past couple of days.

St. Paul Police said nine vehicles have been reported stolen to them in the last two days after their owners left them running and unattended.

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"It's a lot easier to steal a vehicle that's running and unattended than it is to steal one that's locked, not running, or has a person sitting in the driver's seat," the department said.

Jake Ekhaml had his car stolen from his Grand Avenue apartment.

"I guess I was a little too trustworthy," Ekhaml said. "It's better to have your car get cold than have it stolen." 

Police said they're doing everything they can to find the thieves but urged people to stay with their vehicles while warming them up.

Minneapolis Police's 4th Precinct said last week that about 50 vehicles had been reported stolen in that precinct's jurisdiction alone over the past month, and they all were left running unattended.

MPD said thieves look to take advantage of vehicles left running and unattended, so people should never leave keys in a car while unattended, even if it's locked.

Police also warned that it's against a Minneapolis ordinance to leave a key in the ignition while not in a vehicle, and people can be ticketed for leaving keys in their vehicle. It is legal to use a remote starter, but police warned thieves can still be tempted to break into the vehicle.

Police: Idling cars are prime targets for thieves

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