By: Melina Matthes
OMAHA (kptm) - It's something many do every morning, start the car to let it warm up and then go back inside your home, but police say you're also giving crooks an opportunity to get a free ride.
Something crooks are doing a lot more often than you might think.
It happened to one Omaha man early this morning. Police say he started his car and while he was watching it from his apartment, thieves stole it.
Police said the car was stolen out of the apartment complex parking lot near 36th and "L" early Thursday morning.
Monica Rogel said she lets her car heat up every morning while she gets ready. "I park it close to where my apartment is, that way I be watching close so that way I'll be aware that no one will take it while it's on."
Another man living there did the exact same thing. When two men tried to take it, he yelled at them, but instead of running off, they pulled a gun. "It's kind of scary."
Mechanics said when it's this cold; it is good for your car to warm up some. "It is generally accepted as the best fact that your vehicle will work and perform better if you give it a few minutes to get up and get things circulated," Don Velander with Jones Automotive said.
Police recommend you sit inside your vehicle as it warms up but Velander said if you don't want to wait, get a remote start. "If you have a good quality remote start installed on your vehicle and it's working correctly theft is not an issue."
The mechanic said in these types of conditions you don't really need to leave your car running for very long, just a few minutes before you get going, but remember if you do that, it only takes a few seconds for someone to steal your car.
Police are still looking for the stolen car. They're asking you to be on the look out for a 2006 black Chevy Malibu, license plate number "THE 380."