WFPD warns against leaving vehicle running unattended

WFPD warns against leaving vehicle running unattended

WICHITA FALLS, TX (RNN Texoma) - With cold temperatures in the forecast, the Wichita Falls Police Department is reminding drivers a warm ride is not worth losing your car over.

With cold temperatures, it’s tempting to hop in your car and leave it running while you go inside but WFPD officials say it’s not only risky but it’s also against the law.

“I think it’s fair to say the intent of the law is to prevent vehicle thefts,” said Sgt. Harold McClure with WFPD.

They say thieves love an easy target.

“I know that it’s nice to get into a nice warm car when we take off for the day. However, a more uncomfortable feeling would be to come out and not find your car there,” said Sgt. McClure.

While she wasn’t warming up her car at the time, Rita Underwood a Wichita Falls resident said coming out to find your car gone is a feeling she’s experienced before. So, since then she’s made some changes.

“First of all, I have two keys to my car so sometimes I’ll sit in my car while it’s warming up,” said Underwood.

While sitting in your car like Rita does as it warms up is okay, police say it’s important to note leaving your car unattended with the key in the ignition is what makes it against the law, even if your doors are locked.

However, they say there are a few exceptions.

“If your car is equipped with a remote start and you can start it without having a key in the ignition..then that’s an exception,” said Sgt. McClure.

Therefore, the next time you’re heading out the door, the Wichita Falls Police Department wants you to remember this.

“A vehicle running unattended..that”s a very low risk with a high reward because it’s running, there’s a key in it, they can jump in there real quick and nobody sees, and now they have access to a car," said Sgt. McClure. “That’s a big reward, we want to reverse that. Let’s make it a high risk with a low reward.”

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