Police warn drivers about unattended vehicles after several reported stolen


DECATUR, Ill. (WCIA) — Decatur Police are warning people to not leave their vehicles running while unattended or leave keys in the car.

This comes after officers said there were six cars stolen over the past two days. “Of those 6, 5 were left running while the owner was either running inside somewhere for a couple minutes or warming the car up,” said Sergeant Chris Copeland.

In one of those reported incidents, Copeland said the suspects were described as 8 or 9 years old. He stated the victim went into the Double Apple Discount store on South Oakland around 2 p.m. Monday and left the car running. She saw a couple of children hanging out outside of the store.

While she was in the store, a clerk asked her if her children were in the car. She said no and that is when she saw her car being stolen.

Other cars were reported stolen around East Division, West Olive, North Union and North Monroe. In one incident in the 800 block of West Olive, Copeland said the car was not left running, but the keys were inside the car. Officers were able to find the car, but it was wrecked.

Copeland said this happens yearly as the temperatures start to drop. “Once again we stress that unless you have the ability to lock your vehicle while it is running, or remote start it, it is unwise to leave the vehicle running or unattended,” warned Copeland. “A warm car isn’t worth the hassle of losing your car for a period of time, possibly wrecked or used in more serious crimes.”

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