Milwaukee Police warn of dangers of warming up your unattended car

CREATED Jan 21, 2013

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  • Cars make their way along Wisconsin Avenue in Oconomowoc past the new Community Center. The city and the property owner of the white house at 219 Wisconsin Avenue, pictured in the center of the frame, are in a dispute over the property. The city is looking to purchase the property and raze it to make way for a parking lot to accomodate the patrons of the new center.

MILWAUKEE - Milwaukee Police are warning citizens about warming up your car. Vehicles that are left running with nobody inside are easy targets for car thieves.

View our listener/viewer submitted photos of the cold weather we've been having

Some areas of the city have also seen an increase in residential burglaries.

La Crosse residents are being reminded of a local ordinance that prevents them from walking away while they warm up their cars.

A WKBT-TV report says the city's ordinance prevents people from leaving unattended vehicles running. It applies to vehicles on the street or in other public places, and it carries a fine of $114.

Police Lt. Patrick Hogan says the ordinance is in place to protect people from car thieves. He says when vehicles are left unlocked with the key in the ignition, someone passing by who might not have thought about stealing a car might be tempted to take advantage of an easy opportunity.

Police say the ordinance doesn't apply to cars that use an electric starter because keys aren't left in the vehicle that way.