Stealing Cars in the Cold - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Stealing Cars in the Cold

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MADISON (WKOW) -  Owners are leaving their keys in their cars and Madison thieves are taking advantage of this opportunity to steal. 

Madison Police have been warning the public, "Lock it or lose it."   

"We've seen a real spike in the number of cars being stolen for the past several months now," says Joel DeSpain, Public Information Officer for MPD.  He states that the increase in car thefts is related to the cold weather. "Most recently, we have people who are going outside and leaving their cars idling and warming up because it's really really cold.  Within a couple of minutes, somebody is jumping in the car and taking off." 

DeSpain has a simple suggestion for prevention --  "They should really have the car locked while it's warming up, and not unlocked." 

Julia Eagleburger, like so many drivers, warms up her car before driving in the frigid temperatures. In her previous car, she used a remote starter. "It was a basic car and there wasn't anything automatic about the car except for the starter.  The guy I bought it from put it in.  It was a remote start," she says. 

For Eagleburger, it was convenience that saved her from the cold. "Being able to start the car 10 to 15 minutes; however long it takes when it's negative 800 degrees outside...getting into a warm car. You're windows are already defrosted," she revels. 

The best part of a remote starter is that potential car thieves are thwarted. Eagleburger states, "Warming up the car, keeping it locked...I would totally recommend it."  

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