Cars left running and unattended - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Cars left running and unattended

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Amarillo, Texas - More than half of the cars stolen in Amarillo in 2011 had the keys either in the ignition or somewhere in the vehicle.

It is a class c misdemeanor to leave your vehicle on when you are not inside it on the streets of Amarillo.

If a child under the age of 7 is left in a running car for longer than 5 minutes, law enforcement officials tell me they can take action.

Amarillo Police Department says it's up the county or the District Attorney's office to determine if the parent or guardian put their child at risk.

Corporal Jerry Neufeld says, "there could be a possibility there, but that's going to be up for them to decide. We would take the information and present a case to them. If they feel like there is enough to warrant a trial, then they can issue a warrant and bring that person to trial."

In the past month, two cars in our area have been left running with a child inside.

In both incidents the children were unharmed.

Cases tend to increase in the winter months, as people try to keep their cars warm.