On Tuesday, KPD shared a tweet to remind drivers to shut off their cars any time they are left unoccupied especially as the weather cools down. Seven cars that were left running were stolen last week, KPD said.
“It only takes seconds for somebody to steal a car that is left running. Lock your car and shut off the engine every time!” The tweet from KPD read.
KPD included a graphic in the tweet with exact instructions: “Never leave your car unlocked and running while unattended. Shut off your engine, take your keys and lock your car every time you leave it unattended for any amount of time.”
The City of Knoxville also retweeted the original post from KPD.
In Knoxville this year, 68 cars have been stolen that were unattended while left running according to KPD spokesperson Scott Erland.
“Those numbers trend higher in colder months, when people leave their cars running while unattended to warm up in the morning.” Erland said. “As it starts to get colder, people really need to be aware of that and careful not to leave their cars unlocked and running while they are left unattended.”
Erland also added that so far this year, about 13 percent of cars that were taken while left running were by suspects completely unknown to the victim, and in January of this year, 22 cars were stolen.
Auto thefts are investigated by the KPD Property Crimes Unit, which also covers forgery and fraud, pawn shops, burglary and larceny and vandalism.
EDITORS NOTE: This story has been updated with new information.