Unlocked vehicles stolen while being warmed up

Columbus police are warning motorists to refrain from warming up their cars unattended after two vehicles were stolen on New Year’s Eve.

Police were sent to Cleveland Street in Columbus about the report of a white 2006 Dodge van being stolen sometime around 3 p.m. Sunday while the owner was warming it up, unlocked and unattended. The vehicle was later recovered in Clifford, said Lt. Matt Harris, Columbus Police Department spokesman.

At 8 p.m. Sunday, officers were sent to an address on Wint Court in Columbus where a 2004 black Toyota Camry was reported stolen under similar circumstances, warming up while unlocked and unattended. When the owner returned after about 15 minutes, the vehicle was gone. The Camry has not been recovered as of Tuesday afternoon, Harris said.

While no one wants to stay in a freezing cold vehicle while it warms up, police are asking motorists to refrain from leaving unlocked vehicles unattended while warming them up.

For more on this story, see Wednesday’s Republic.