Keeping Thieves Out of Your Car - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Keeping Thieves Out of Your Car

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KENNEWICK, Wash. -- Temperatures will dip down near freezing in the coming weeks. And police say with colder temperatures come more car thefts and burglaries. But, Kennewick Police say many of these thefts are very preventable.

Police say that there are three elements in what they call the crime triangle. They are: the offender, the victim, and the opportunity. If you eliminate one part of the crime triangle, like the opportunity, it is easy to prevent the crime.

In the case of car thefts, police say many people provide criminals with the opportunity to steal their car by leaving their keys inside in the winter. Many times they are trying to warm their vehicle up. This situation has happened so often that the City of Kennewick has actually made a law to prevent it.

Kennewick Sergeant Trevor White says, "People can be found negligent in leaving their vehicle running, which is basically serving their car up on a silver platter for someone to come take."

The crime for leaving your car unattended is a misdemeanor and up to the discretion of the officer. Police say that one thing you can do instead of using your defroster and leaving your car running is to use an ice scraper you can pick up for 99 cents.

They say while it may be uncomfortable, keeping your keys with you helps protect you and your valuables.