Thieves target running cars

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BY VICTOR G. MIMONI
Wednesday, January 21, 2009 6:31 PM EST

Numbers of northeast Queens residents don’t want their cars to get cold, so they leave them running with the keys in the ignition and the doors unlocked – and then find that they are suddenly “hot.”

Crime prevention officers in both the 109th and 111th precincts report several incidents of running-car-theft in just the last few weeks, and they want to help you avoid being a victim.

The story falls into two categories – people who warm up their vehicles in the driveway while they breakfast at home, or those who frequent a convenience store “just for a minute” and leave the car running in the parking lot.

“It’s like you’re just teasing somebody to steal your car,” said Detective Gary Poggialli of the 111th Precinct. “You need to be a little self-conscious of what you’re doing,” he stressed.

He pointed to two incidents on Tuesday, January 13, within an hour of each other. At 8 a.m. someone grabbed a 2006 Mercedes Benz idling near 33rd Avenue and 212th Street in Bayside – at 9 a.m. a 2003 Honda Civic was driven away from 64th Avenue and Springfield Boulevard. Both were running with keys in the ignition and the doors unlocked.

“Those are about two of the most stolen cars there are,” Poggialli pointed out. But he cautions that you shouldn’t think your car is immune from theft because it isn’t new. “Even older cars are worth something to somebody,” he observed, adding “Your car may not be worth a lot, but it won’t be cheap to replace it.”

Queens Courier

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