A warm car, left unattended, is a stolen car.
That's the message Manheim Township police are spreading in response to an uptick in vehicle thefts as residents leave cars idling and unoccupied to warm them up in the cold weather.
Police said in a news release that there have been three vehicle thefts in the past two weeks in which a person left his or her car running only to return to find the car had been stolen.
— On Nov. 25, a vehicle left running outside Turkey Hill on Manheim Pike was stolen and recovered the next day after it was involved in a hit-and-run crash in Paradise Township.
— On Dec. 1, a box truck was stolen and recovered hours later in Lancaster city after the driver left the truck running while making a delivery.
— And on Tuesday, a vehicle left to warm up in the 5700 block of Main Street in East Petersburg was stolen and is still missing. The victim's credit card was also used to make fraudulent purchases in Hershey.
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Police said leaving a running vehicle unattended is unsafe and possibly illegal.
The Pennsylvania vehicle code prohibits leaving an unattended vehicle in any public roadway. Violators may receive a summary offense and a $5 fine.
Some municipalities, such as Lancaster Township and Lancaster city, have adopted their own ordinances addressing unattended vehicles.