As it gets chilly outside more people tend to leave their car running an unattended and that's not a good idea. So I wanted to pass along some advice that the Lee's Summit Police Department posted on their Facebook this morning; along with something I learned a few years ago while enrolled in the Lubbock Law Enforcement Citizens Academy. Don't do it.

Don't run into the convenience store and leave your car turned on. Don't warm up your car unattended while you're still inside your home. Don't leave your keys in the ignition or tucked in the sun visor ever. Many car thefts are crimes of opportunity. And many wouldn't happen if the car wasn't running unattended or if the keys weren't left in the car.

On the Lee's Summit Police Department's Facebook page they give some great advice:

It only takes seconds for a criminal to drive by, see your car running, get in it and take off. Don't allow yourself to become a victim of such a preventable crime. NEVER LEAVE A RUNNING VEHICLE UNATTENDED!!!!

Someone in the comments asked about cars with auto start that lock the doors and won't drive drive without the key. Lee's Summit Police say you need to know how your auto start works. "There are some that will drive without the key nearby, but once you turn it off it will not restart(so they get a one way free ride), or there are others that will drive until it gets out of range, so sometimes we will find them a block or two away abandoned." And even if a thief can't get your car, he or she might still smash your window to try and take it.

So the bottom line, don't leave your car unattended and running. Not even in your own driveway. Not even when it's cold out. Not even if you think you're in the safest of neighborhoods. Not even if you have auto start and the doors are locked.