Police: Car thefts rise in the cold winter months

With below freezing temperatures it’s tempting to run your car while you get ready in the morning.

Police say a defrosting vehicle is a prime target for thieves.

“We definitely do see a spike this time of year in thefts of vehicles,” said Lt. Justin Ivens of Medford Police.

Medford Police see a pattern, when the temperature drops, the number of auto thefts rise.

“More than anything it’s opportunity, they’re out on foot and they see an opportunity, they’ve got a car there, unlocked and running and they take advantage of it,” said Lt. Ivens.

In what was a warm October, there were 18 vehicle thefts. So far in a colder November there have been 5 thefts, on pace for 20 or more.

Besides just keeping an eye on your vehicle, here’s a few tips to defrost your car as fast as possible:
Crack your windows.
Turn your heat on full blast.
Turn the a/c on and make sure the air is not circulating inside the vehicle, this helps release humid air in the vehicle and bring in dry air.
It should be a lot easier to scrape the ice off your windshield.

If you don’t feel like scraping you can also use a solution of 2/3 Isopropyl alcohol and 1/3 water in a spray bottle.

“Everyone says it’s never gonna happen to me, but if you can be in it while the vehicle is warming up that’s the best way to prevent this from happening or being present in the general area so you can keep an eye on it,” said Lt. Ivens.

NBC5 Meteorologist.

Matt earned a Meteorology Certificate from Mississippi State University and a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism from the University of Oregon. Before joining NBC5 News, Matt spent a year in Alexandria, Louisiana as a reporter and anchor for KALB News. Matt was also a production assistant at KEZI 9 News in Eugene and an intern at CNN.

In addition to being passionate about news and weather, Matt loves his Oregon Ducks, the outdoors, craft beer and time with his dogs.

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