ARLINGTON, Va. (WDVM) — The Arlington County Police Department is warning the public against leaving unattended cars running to combat auto thefts this winter.

During December, ACPD investigated five reports of idle cars being stolen. In all cases, victims reported running a short errand, like purchasing an item at a convenience store or picking up food. Due to these reports, the police department is warning never to leave the area while your car is running, even for a short time.

Here are tips from the Arlington County website on auto theft crime prevention tips:

  • Remain aware of your surroundings and park in well-lit areas.
  • Close and lock all windows and doors when you park. Double click the lock button on the key fob to receive a confirmation beep/chirp or pull on the door handle to verify it’s locked.
  • Do not leave your keys, key fobs, or valet keys in your vehicle. This includes keys to a secondary vehicle.
  • Ensure that your vehicle is turned OFF when leaving it unattended. Vehicles with keyless ignition systems can be driven for extended periods of time even if the key fob is not inside the car. Be sure to read your owner’s manual carefully and familiarize yourself with how to operate your vehicle’s keyless ignition system properly.
  • Keep information, such as the make, model, model year, license plate and VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) easily accessible in the event your vehicle is stolen.

For more information click here.