As holiday season begins auto theft rates rise.
As Christmas approaches holiday shopping is picking up and according to the police department so does car theft.
So how can you protect yourself and your car?
The task force says the combination of the holidays and cold weather put your car and it's belongings at risk.
It should make you think twice about letting your car warm up without watching.
During this time of year many people either start their cars early or leave them running to keep them warm.
It's called, "puffer season" and the term comes from the visible exhaust that escapes your car while it runs.
The exhaust is also a clear sign for thieves that your car is most likely unlocked and easy to steal.
According to the task force 80 percent of car thefts are directly related to unlocked cars.
Sergeant Stan Ancell said, “Crimes don't have to be downtown or on a major street, our criminals you know we get 5 or 6 a day of criminal trespasses to vehicles, a majority of those are occurring in drive ways or out in front of someone's house on their street, so it happens anywhere. “
It may sound simple but locking your car will drastically decrease your chances of being robbed.
The task force says even passerby's won't notice if a stranger simply opens the door and get's in.
The task force says that robbers will walk from car to car in parking lots or down a street checking for just one open door, and if they don't find one they'll just move on.
They say a running car is like a Christmas present to the thieves.
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