The White Marsh Precinct has experienced an uptick in the number of auto thefts during the month of December, mostly overnight and in the early morning hours as people are leaving for work. The majority of these vehicles were left unlocked, left with keys hidden inside the vehicle, or left running unattended or “warming up.”

Baltimore County Police remind residents to keep vehicle doors locked at all times, never to store spare keys to any vehicle inside a vehicle, always keep your garage door opener inside your home with your vehicle keys to prevent a burglary, and never leave your vehicle unattended with the motor running or “warming up” on the street or in your driveway.

According to an article on AccuWeather.com experts in the automotive field indicate that modern cars do not actually need to be “warmed up” the way that older cars utilizing a carburetor needed to be. Modern cars, most vehicles made after 1995, utilize fuel injection rather than a carburetor, eliminating the need to warm up the vehicle before driving away.

Penzoil’s Technical Advisor, Shanna Simmons, says that it is a myth that engines need to idle on a cold winter day in order to warm up the oil and prevent engine damage.

“While it does take longer for motor oil to pump in extreme cold temperatures, we are talking milliseconds, not minutes,” she said. “Your engine will warm up the oil much faster when driving at full speed – not to mention idling wastes gas.”

So skip the warm-up and save yourself the headache of having your car stolen right from your driveway and having your insurance rates rise. Your engine will "warm-up" in the time it takes you to buckle up your seat belt, and you'll save yourself money on gas as an added bonus!