Crime Tracker: The Warm Up Theft Test - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Crime Tracker: The Warm Up Theft Test

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Leaving your vehicle unattended while it's running could get you a $124 ticket in Spokane County Leaving your vehicle unattended while it's running could get you a $124 ticket in Spokane County

KHQ - Every minute counts when you're hustling to get out the door in the morning, which is why a lot of people don't want to waste their time sitting in their vehicle waiting for it to warm up. However, leaving your vehicle unattended while it's running could get you a $124 ticket. Even worse, it could make you a victim to car theft.

Crime Tracker Kalae Chock went on a ride along with Spokane County Sheriff's Deputy Travis Pendell to make sure people aren't making themselves a target for car theft. In just 15 minutes, they spotted four running vehicles within 5 blocks with no one inside. Three of the car owners told Deputy Pendell they didn't know that leaving their vehicle unattended is illegal. Some of the car owners said their car was locked and that they were watching the street from inside their house. However, Deputy Pendell says those measures won't keep a thief from smashing in the window and taking off.

Deputy Pendell says, "You've never seen a car thief work. It doesn't take them minutes to get into your car. It takes them seconds."

One driver we talked to said he was thankful to see the deputy and the KHQ Crime Trackers, instead of a thief speeding away in his car. People are legally allowed to leave their vehicle unattended if it is parked in the driveway, but driver beware. Even though a deputy can't write you a ticket, a thief can still steal your car. The best advice for drivers:eliminate the opportunity for thieves by staying in the driver's seat whenever the keys are in the ignition.

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