AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - Between January 1 and January 12, the Amarillo Police Department has made 31 stolen vehicle reports. Three of those have been stolen motorcycles. Of the 28 stolen automobiles, 14 of them were left running or had the keys left in them.
The temperatures are getting colder and the department is seeing a lot more cars being started and left unattended to warm up. APD says while it may be convenient to start your car and leave it or to leave it running while you run into a store, ask yourself if it's worth loosing your car to warm it up.
The Amarillo Police Department Crime Prevention Unit would like to remind everyone that the easiest way to keep from becoming a victim of a stolen vehicle is to not leave your car running while unattended or leave your keys in it.
The APD has recovered 17 of the 31 stolen vehicles.
Texas Transportation Code 545.404 states:
(a) Except as provided by Subsection (b), An operator may not leave a vehicle unattended without:
(1) stopping the engine;
(2) locking the ignition;
(3) removing the key from the ignition;
(4) setting the parking brake effectively; and
(5) if standing on a grade, turning the front wheels to the curb or side of the highway.
(b) The requirements of Subsections (a)(1), (2), and (3) do not apply to an operator who starts the engine of a vehicle by using a remote starter or other similar device that:
(1) remotely starts the vehicle's engine without placing the key in the ignition; and
(2) requires the key to be placed in the ignition or physically present in the vehicle before the vehicle can be operated.