Springfield police issue warning over car thefts - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

Springfield police issue warning over car thefts

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When hitting the roads this winter, people want to stay warm during these frigid temperatures.

One way to do that, is to get your car started several minutes before you leave home.

But Sgt. John Delaney of the Springfield Police Department said you may need to think twice before doing so.

"You're just inviting somebody to steal it," said Delaney.

He said  the department has seen an uptake in stolen car thefts since the cold air has moved in to Western Mass.

"People of unlawful desire are walking down the street, they see an opportunity and they jump on it," said Delaney. 

The most recent incident happened Wednesday.

Delaney said a woman was heating up her car on Wellington Street. Her teenage daughter was sitting in the back seat, but that didn't prevent someone from jumping and taking the vehicle.

"The crook jumped in, said get out and took off with the car," explained Delaney.

He said usually the stolen cars are recovered the same day in or around the vicinity where they were taken.

"A lot of the cars aren't stolen permanently. A lot of it is just joyrides," said Delaney.

These cases are tough for police to prevent and it mostly comes down to the drivers.

"We'd have to be on the street when it's going on. So it's very preventable from the car owners point of view," said Delaney.  

He advises drivers to use automatic car starters so the doors are locked and there's no keys in the ignition.

In the end, Delaney said it all comes down to common sense and taking precautions.

"It will save you a lot of heartache of seeing someone drive away with your vehicle," said Delaney.

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