Warming Up Your Car Unattended Can Be Illegal - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Warming Up Your Car Unattended Can Be Illegal

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KENNEWICK, WA-- Many of us want to warm up our cars before we have to drive in these chilly temperatures, but doing that could be illegal.

Police say that leaving your car on unattended as it warms up is illegal if it's parked on the street. They say they don't want your car to become a target for thieves.

However, you can leave your car running in your driveway or on other private property if it's locked.

"There are thieves who are just looking for opportunities and they'll see those unattended, jump in them and they're gone. It might just be a joy ride down the street or they might take it forever. None the less, you gave it away," said Sgt. Ken Lattin, Kennewick Police Department.

Newer cars with an auto-start feature allow you to leave the car running and locked and require a key to drive.

Officers warn people to watch their cars if they do choose to warm them up unattended.