Drivers left in the cold as thieves steal ‘defrosting’ cars

Police are reminding drivers to stay safe when defrosting their cars following a wave of thefts.

Today is the first day back at work for many of us, and with cold weather sweeping much of the country, it was a frosty start for commuters.

And as if waking up extra early to de-ice your car isn’t bad enough, a new crime wave has hit the streets of the UK.

Opportunistic car thieves have been stealing cars that drivers leave running to defrost.

According to West Midlands Police, on the morning of Tuesday 29th November, £100,000 worth of cars were stolen in the region – all while they were left to warm up. The cars taken ranged from an Audi A3 through to a Ford Mondeo.

In Carlisle, a van driver admitted to leaving his van running to defrost, popping back into the house for a few minutes and returning to find nothing but an empty space, according to Cumbria Constabulary.

In total, a car was stolen every 5 minutes, leading to police forces across the UK condemning the thefts, and providing advice for morning commuters to keep in mind.

Thames Valley Police joined West Midlands Police, and other police forces across the UK, in reminding drivers to stay safe, however cold, early or frosty the morning may be.

Here’s some important advice to remember when the morning’s frosty:

  • Use de-icer spray and / or an ice-scraper to help clear any frost on your car
  • If you do turn on the air-conditioning system in your vehicle, always stay with the car
  • If you have to leave the car for any period of time, turn off the engine and lock the car
  • Do not pour hot water directly onto your windscreen, or you risk damaging your car
  • And always remember to wrap up warm – it’s freezing out there!

Crucially, never leave your car alone with the engine running. Not for a few minutes. Not even for ‘just a second’.

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