With weeks of below freezing temperature, getting into a cold car first thing in the morning is something not many people enjoy doing, but starting your car and walking away comes with more than one risk.
According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau, more than 500 vehicles in Idaho were stolen between 2013 and 2015, just because the keys were left in the car. Nearly 200 of those were in Boise.
"I was able to run some numbers in Nampa,” Sgt. Shane Huston said. “Since September 1, 2016, we've had 18 cars stolen that were all running outside of houses and or businesses.”
One of those happened just this week. Nampa police said Leon Fortner stole a car that was left running in a Boise neighborhood on Monday.
"Our dispatch received a call from a reporting party who advised that her car had been stolen the day before in Boise, and that she was currently tracking the vehicle and it was in the area of I-84 and Franklin in Nampa,” Huston said.
The tracking device led right to the car, he said. After a 45-minute standoff with Fortner, police arrested him. In this case, that car tracker paid off, but police say they aren’t the only solution to protecting your car.
"It is very helpful. We can locate the vehicles very quick,” Huston said. “Unfortunately, on a large amount of our stolen vehicles that we've recovered, they've been damaged or wrecked. We've seen an uptick in that lately where people are taking them out into the country and crashing them causing a lot of damage."
In addition to the risk of your car being stolen, it’s actually illegal to leave your car running and unattended in the state of Idaho.
"It's a citation that somebody could get. It's not something that I've seen used a lot, but it is a potential risk of leaving your vehicle running unattended," Huston said.