Contact: Sgt. Joy Matthews
As we enter the winter months, the Kent County Sheriff’s Office warns residents of the dangers of leaving your vehicle running unattended to warm the inside or to run a quick errand.
Whether you are at home getting ready to leave or hurrying into a store, your vehicle is more prone to theft when it is left running unattended. Not only are you providing a quick and easy opportunity for thieves to steal your vehicle, but you may also be breaking the law. In Michigan, it is a civil infraction to leave your vehicle running unattended on a street unless you are using a remote start feature. Additionally, some jurisdictions have ordinances prohibiting residents from leaving their vehicles running unattended on private property.
As always, it’s important to continue following other safety tips with your vehicle, like locking the doors, removing the keys from the vehicle, and keeping valuables out of sight. Items like purses, wallets, gift bags, packages, and cell phones attract thieves. Secure these items in the trunk or inside your residence. Keep your vehicle parked in a well-lit area so that thieves do not have the cover of darkness. If you are able, park your vehicle inside your garage and be sure to secure the garage door and lock any service doors which lead into your garage.
Stay safe and remember to report suspicious activity to the Kent County Sheriff’s Office at (616) 632-6357.