Motorists warned about defrosting cars

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West Yorkshire Police have issued a warning to motorists about leaving their keys in the car when they defrost.

In previous years, vehicles have been stolen from driveways as owners have left them to heat up.

Inspector John Tatham of the Shipley Neighbourhood Policing Team is reinforcing the message:

“As we have said before, people need to keep security at the forefront of their minds.

“Some vehicle owners start up their cars and go back into their homes to get out of the freezing cold. In doing this, however; they risk returning to find their vehicle has been stolen.

“In the past we have seen people leave their vehicles for up to fifteen minutes at a time. Please don’t gift an opportunist thief in this way and simply stay with your vehicle.

“It can be tempting to leave the engine running while you stay warm in your house, but it will only take a second for someone to jump in your vehicle and drive away.

“Not everyone realises that it is also an offence to leave your vehicle like this and that it can also invalidate your insurance.

“There are also obvious safety issues, as it could also be a child that jumps behind the wheel.

“I appreciate that it is easy to become pre-occupied during the festive period, but if you leave your vehicle unattended with the keys in the ignition, it could ruin your Christmas.

“Be safe and secure. Don’t leave any Christmas presents on view in your vehicle or any other expensive items that could make you a target.

“If you witness such an incident take place in the Bradford District or have any information, please contact the non emergency number 101 or Crimestoppers in confidence on 0800 555 111.”