SAVANNAH, GA (January 6, 2013): The on-coming cold snap has prompted a warning from Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police for drivers who leave their vehicles running and unattended to warm up: please don’t!

So far this year, five cars have been reported stolen with keys that were left in the vehicles, including three that were left running. In all, 11 cars have been taken since Dec. 1 by thieves who found the keys in them – either in an ignition, trunk or purse inside the car.

Vehicles actually warm up more quickly when being driven and the luxury of entering a warm vehicle will be far less than the misery of dealing with a stolen automobile

SCMPD Crime Prevention Officers also offer the following tips:

• Never leave your unattended vehicle running – Vehicles are commonly stolen at ATMs, convenience stores and residential driveways.
• Always lock your vehicles and close your windows completely – Criminals will push down on an open window and/or just pull them back in order to break them. Other window breaking methods include use of bricks, crow bars and the end of spark plugs.
• Do not leave valuable items inside parked cars – Pocket books on the seat, GPS, Cameras, CDs, loose change, laptops and electronic devices draw thieves. Boxes holding such items at the time of purchase may also enticement thieves. The suction cup marks left on windows by GPS mounts, visible power cables and chargers alert thieves to the presence of expensive electronics inside vehicles.
• Park under or near street lights when parking on a street at night – Criminals do not like the light; although, some are willing to break-in during daylight hours.
• Install warning devices such as alarms that are sensitive to glass breaks and/or opened doors – No alarm is foolproof, but criminals do not like to be in the spotlight.
• Never leave firearms stowed away in your vehicle.