Police warn motorists about leaving keys in unattended cars

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Northamptonshire Police have reminded vehicle owners not to leave their engine running whilst their vehicle is left unattended.

During the cold weather, motorists have been advised to make sure their car is fully defrosted before starting any journey. However, the police have said motorists should never leave their vehicle unattended with the engine running to warm it up or defrost the windows.

Detective Inspector Alison Farr said: “During April 2011 and March 2012, nine vehicles were stolen as a result of people leaving their keys in the ignition whilst defrosting their vehicle, and one vehicle has been stolen in this way so far this winter.

“Most of these crimes are opportunistic and can be prevented. We urge members of the public to allow extra time to safely clear their windscreens in the morning and it is important that motorists stay with their vehicles while doing so.

“We also ask that motorists remove their ignition key and lock all doors when filling up with petrol or just popping into the shop.”

Police are offering advice to people to stop them becoming a victim of such a crime, on the crime prevention section of their website – www.northants.police.uk/crimeprevention.

The police have said that one of their priorities is stopping theft of, and from, cars and the Force continues to focus on tackling this through Operation Guardian.