A stark warning has been issued to drivers not to leave their cars unattended while warming them up this winter, after a spike in thefts during colder months.
Drivers who leave their cars unattended with their engines running are taking a big risk of being targeted by thieves, as research by Tracker shows this practice is leading to a rise in car thefts at this time of the year.
"While some of the 'frost jacking thefts' are opportunistic, many are planned," Stuart Chapman, police relationships manager at Tracker said. "Organised gangs will target specific makes and models that are parked out overnight. They will keep watch on the vehicles when the weather is cold waiting for the owner to leave it unattended.
"Modern cars' security makes them very difficult to steal without the keys, so thieves exploit the cold weather to target those owners who take the risk on a frosty morning."
Motorists should also be aware that they can be prosecuted for leaving their car unattended with the engine running, and that insurance firms are not liable to pay out if the car is stolen while the keys are left in the ignition.
Copyright Press Association 2013