Let's face it, it's cold, and we have started our cold weather season early.  With it being cold, that means people will be starting their cars to let them warm up.  However, it is strongly encouraged not to do that, because, it's just an invitation to have your car stolen.

Plus, it is illegal in Amarillo to leave your car running unattended.

Did you know that the Amarillo Police Department has reported 38 stolen vehicles in October already.  Thirty-five of those cars had the keys in the vehicle.
A running vehicle is bait for criminals.  It's an easy target screaming come steal me.

According to the Texas Transportation Code  545.404

(a)  Except as provided by Subsection (b), an operator may not leave a vehicle unattended without:
(1)  Stopping the engine;
(2)  Locking the ignition;
(3)  Removing the key from the ignition;
(4)  Setting the parking brake effectively; and
(5)  If standing on a grade, turning the front wheels to the curb or side of the highway.
(b) The requirements of Subsections (a)(1), (2), and (3) do not apply to an operator who starts the engine of a vehicle by using a remote starter or other similar device that:
(1)  Remotely starts the vehicle's engine without placing the key in the ignition; and
(2)  Requires the key to be placed in the ignition or physically present in the vehicle before the vehicle can be operated.

If you are caught with your vehicle running unattended, it's a Class C Misdemanor.  So spare yourself a stolen car and a ticket and bundle up and sit in your vehicle while it warms up, or invest in a remote start.

It's going to be a long winter here in the Texas Panhandle so be smart and be prepared for the cold.

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