Car thieves change tactics in cold weather


Car thieves in the Quad Cities aren’t taking a break in the cold weather.

Local 4 News spoke with area police departments today.

They tell us since January first, 22 cars have been stolen in Davenport.

Rock Island and Moline each had five and East Moline had four.

Bettendorf has had no car thefts so far.

Police say, the cold weather isn’t going to deter those thefts – it actually makes it easier.

The majority of cars stolen this month have been running with keys in the ignition.

Police tell us, in the wintertime, car thieves change their tactics.

Instead of walking by and checking handles for unlocked doors, they’re driving through neighborhoods looking for running cars left unattended.

It’s called a “crime of opportunity.”

“In order to not be a victim, take keys out of your car, says Major Jeff Bladel of Davenport PD. “It only takes a few seconds to steal a car. A lot of times people leave car running, they’ll keep an eye on it, and it only takes a second for someone to steal it.”

“It’s very important that if you’re going to start your vehicle in the is cold weather, it should be locked,” says Captain Darren Gault of East Moline PD. “The alternative is the car may not be there when you come back.”

In Illinois, it is against the law to leave your car running if unattended. The only exception is if you have a remote start.

In Iowa, it’s okay if you start your car in your driveway, but leaving it running in a public place is against the law.

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