Several cars stolen while warming up at home

Chester Stewart's home security system caught a truck thief on camera.
Published:
Updated:
The winter weather has kept police on the run because of so many cars and trucks left unattended while warming up.

Before officers could wrap up one warming car theft call, dispatchers radioed them for another stolen car and one thief is even caught on camera.

Police say you may be better off driving around to get your engine warmed up.

"I do this all the time. Every time it's gotten cold, I have warmed up my car here," said Laural Coyne.

Laural spent the day watching Netflix, hoping to get her stolen car back. Her 2013 Mazda disappeared Monday morning as she let it warm up in front of her house.

"In the new Mazdas, there is no way to lock your car with it running, so my new plan will be, when I warm up my car, is to just sit out there," she said.

Like Laural, Chester Stewart hopes police can find his white 1990 Ford F-150.

"I was just in the bathroom and I was getting ready to go back," he said.

Chester's truck was being watched by his home security system. The video shows a man getting behind the wheel of his pick-up as it warmed up in the driveway. His family installed the outdoor security cameras last year.

"I told my son when he was upstairs, 'Somebody just stole the truck,' and it was too late for me," he said.

Chester, who was part of the 101st Airborne, says the thieves also got away with his wallet and his veteran ID cards.

With police answering so many calls for cars and trucks stolen while warming up, mechanic Dan Hamblin says the best defense is a short warm-up with you behind the wheel and get the car moving.

"It is better off if you get the car rolling a little bit, get the fluids moving through the transmission, get the brakes warmed up," he said. "As far as sitting there static and idling, it's not necessary all that much."

Hamblin also recommends a second set of keys or an automatic starter with anti-theft features.

Police say in many cases the victims tell them they were only away from their cars for a few minutes. Officers says that's enough time for someone looking for a warm ride.