Cold-weather routine leaves multiple families without a car

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

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Not only does it put you at risk for getting your car stolen, but police also say it's a violation of Ohio law to leave a vehicle running while unlocked and unattended.

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

In just the last few days, cars were stolen from right in front of their owners’ houses in Miamisburg and Moraine.

As the temperature drops, some people feel the urge on cold mornings to hop in, start the car, and then go back inside for a few minutes before work.

News Center 7's Sean Cudahy explains why on top of putting yourself at risk for a stolen car, police say it's against the law to let it run unattended.

“Basically to me, it gets the car warm,” said Keisonn Pate of Dayton, who has a remote starter for his car.

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Others say it’s not a good routine.

“I really don’t just because I don’t think it's really smart, I guess,” said Michael Beiser, a University of Dayton student.

In the last week there have been multiple crimes that started with someone leaving a car running, what police call “a crime of opportunity.”

Last Wednesday at an apartment complex off Orchard Hill Drive in Miamisburg, police said someone started a 2008 Saturn to warm it up and went inside. Almost immediately, the car disappeared.

It happened in a Moraine neighborhood, too.

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A Holman Street resident said he came out of the house to start his car Friday morning and in just minutes it was gone. The owner said he thinks someone may have been watching him to learn his morning routine.

Police warn the routine of warming up your car can put you at risk for having your car stolen, which can lead to pursuits and crashes that could end with injuries or even death.

While Pate uses his remote to warm up his car, he said hearing about the vehicle thefts have made him reconsider.

"Maybe I need to slow down on doing it so often, but the car is cold when it’s below zero outside,” he said.

Leaving a car running while unlocked and unattended is a violation of Ohio law that could lead to a minor misdemeanor charge.