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Baltimore County Police and Fire News

Official News Blog of Baltimore County police, fire, homeland security and emergency management. Call 911 to report crimes in progress and emergencies.
Keyword: car

Over the last month a number of cars have been broken into across the county. There is no particular area that is immune. There is a way to stop some of these thefts – lock your doors.

This may not be a foolproof way to stop them, but thieves are opportunists. They will walk along and check to see which vehicle is unlocked and which isn’t. The odds are that the thief will go for the unlocked vehicle.

We are, for the most part, careful about locking our vehicles while at work, school or shopping, but we tend to be less mindful of locking up when we are home. Don’t get a false sense of security just because the vehicle is in front of your home or in your driveway. Lock your doors!

Thieves are looking for a number of items - change in the cup holder, cellphones, laptops, anything of value. House keys are especially valuable. Not only has the thief gotten into your vehicle, he now has access to your home.

Don’t leave your garage door opener inside your vehicle in full view. This enables thieves to access other items such as bicycles, lawn equipment and maybe another vehicle or even your home.

Lock your vehicle doors at all times. Make life difficult for thieves.

Additional crime prevention tips are available online.

Baltimore County Police are reminding drivers to keep their vehicle doors locked and to never store their keys in the vehicle, including a spare key to another vehicle, while it's unattended. Doing so could lead to items being stolen from your vehicle or even your vehicle being stolen.

Don't provide an opportunity for a criminal. Many times all it takes is for a suspect to walk through a neighborhood and pull on your car handle to see if it's unlocked. If it is unlocked, your valuables are at risk to be stolen. A spare key stored in your vehicle could leave you with your car being stolen.

Leaving Your Car Running Unattended is Illegal

Leaving your car running with the keys in the ignition not only leaves your car at risk to be stolen, but it is also illegal.

Vehicles left running outside homes, in front of convenience stores and at gas pumps present an easy target for car thieves. Always take your keys with you and secure your vehicle, even for a short trip into the store.

Maryland Annotated Vehicle Code prohibits an operator of a vehicle to leave a vehicle running and unattended unless the operator:

  • is in charge of a motor vehicle that has had the engine started using a remote keyless ignition system and has been operating unattended for up to five consecutive minutes when the vehicle is not in motion; or
  • allows a motor vehicle that is locked and on private property, not open to the public, to operate unattended for up to five consecutive minutes when the vehicle is not in motion.

Penalties and Fines

Did you know that leaving a vehicle alone with the engine running is against the law? Officers can issue a ticket that is accompanied by a $70 fine and one point against your driving record. Unattended, running vehicles also pose a safety hazard. If the vehicle slips out of gear and causes an accident, you could be issued a ticket with a $110 fine and three points against your driving record.

Make sure your vehicle doors are locked at all times, spare keys are not left in the vehicle and the vehicle is not left running unattended.

With the cold weather that we have been experiencing recently, Baltimore County Police would like to remind motorists about leaving their cars running and unattended. Maryland Law prohibits leaving an unattended running vehicle. This can result in a potential penalty of a $70 fine and one point on your driving record.

If you leave your car running, there is a strong possibility of your car being stolen and used to commit other crimes. This not only causes a loss to you but could also help thieves victimize others. To learn more: https://t.co/pPR7FBJuO0

 
 
Revised June 27, 2017