Thieves preying on people warming up vehicles unattended - KCTV5

Thieves preying on people warming up vehicles unattended

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Every winter, temperatures turn cold and motorists dash outside to start their vehicle and dash back inside for a few minutes until the cars have warmed up.

And thieves are waiting to prey on car owners who let their guards down.

Sintia Bautista started her father's car just before 6 a.m. Tuesday as she finished getting ready to head to work. When she returned, the vehicle was gone.

"This was planned so it's just too unexpected to happen," Bautista said. "It's really, really annoying people are doing that."

She is one of numerous people in Overland Park who have seen their vehicles stolen in the past three days under these circumstances. Most of the crimes have occurred in neighborhoods in north Overland Park, and most cars have seen their vehicles abandoned in Kansas City, KS.

"We believe these people are good at what they do," Overland Park Officer Gary Mason said. "They are organized and that's all they do."

Police found the vehicle belonging to Bautista's father in Raytown. A tire had been shredded and a hubcap broken. The money inside also was stolen.

However, clothes were found in the back seat, which indicates the thieves abandoned the vehicle quickly and didn't take the time to snatch up their laundry.

Bautista is relieved the vehicle was found and won't leave a vehicle unattended again.

"I'm glad it's glad. Either way, they left it in bad condition," she said.

Other cities are seeing similar crimes. Olathe has seen five cases and Lenexa has seen four including two on Monday.

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