Warning to drivers that could mean trouble - KCTV5 News

Warning to drivers that could mean trouble

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Police have a warning for drivers about something simple they have probably done before and it could land them in a load of trouble. And in Kansas City, police are really cracking down on it.

In Kansas City, MO, it is illegal to leave a car running whether the driver is popping into the store or just warming it up in front of their house. Last year more than 3300 cars were stolen in the city and the numbers this year aren't far behind.

"I ran inside to get my coat and purse and I came out and it was gone,"

What happened to a Northland woman and thousands of others every year is why Kansas City, MO, property crimes detectives took to the streets Monday.

The Shoal Creek detectives set up surveillance at convenience stores around the area, and just waited for someone to go inside and leave their car running. When the drivers returned, police were waiting.

Fortunately officers weren't there to take a report because someone swiped their ride, but instead they were here warning drivers next time they might not be so lucky.

"Very frustrating.  I didn't know what I was going to do because I need my car for work," said a recent victim named Angela.

As it turns out Angela's car was stolen in the same area where police were running Monday's operation. But Angela got lucky. Within hours police called to let her know they had found her car.

The suspect crashed it fleeing from police, but the damage wasn't serious.

Police say all too often after someone steals a car they go on to commit other crimes. It is a cycle that costs police and the victims a lot of time and money.

For Angela, Monday was lesson learned.

"Freeze and warm your car up while you sit in it. Don't ever leave it unattended because you may not be as lucky as me," said Angela.

It is not just Kansas City, MO, where it is illegal. Most cities around the metro have similar statutes as well.

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