Nov 29, 2022 - News

Don't be a car thief's dream date

Illustration of a burglar with a big car in a bag over his back.

Illustration: Maura Losch/Axios

Many Seattleites try to stay off the roads when it's snowing or raining ice, but some of us need to drive and others will be forced to brave the roads before the week is done.

Driving the news: Police throughout Puget Sound are reporting a rash of car thefts on cold mornings as people leave vehicles running to warm up.

What they're saying: "We know that it is cold out, but cars that are left running become a very easy target for theft," Auburn police said.

What to know (and do): Don't do what thousands of drivers nationwide do on cold winter mornings: Turn on the car and leave it running in the driveway.

  • It's against the law in Washington and Oregon to leave a car running while unattended.
  • At least seven cars were reported stolen while left outside warming up this fall, Auburn police said.
  • Tacoma police said at least four cars were stolen in one morning alone earlier this month. All had been left empty and running by drivers warming them up.
  • Leaving your car running, or "puffing," is one of the easiest ways to become a statistic, Auburn police said in a Facebook post. All criminals need to do is slide into the driver's seat and go.

What's next: Want to leave the car parked and use public transit? Here are some useful links to check on service and travel alerts:

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