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The original item was published from 2/18/2021 7:08:06 AM to 3/14/2021 12:00:00 AM.

News Flash

Public Safety

Posted on: October 14, 2020

[ARCHIVED] Avoid Being Victim of Vehicle Warm-up Theft

Vehicle Warm Up theft

Las Cruces Police remind drivers who warm up their vehicles to refrain from leaving them unattended as they can be stolen within seconds.


Surveillance video from an Oct. 6 incident on Sombrero Court shows that it took less than 15 seconds for the suspect to enter an unattended Chevy Equinox, reverse out of the driveway and leave the area. The owner of the Equinox told police she started the vehicle and went into the home for only 30 seconds before returning to find an empty parking space. Police located the vehicle a short time later, but the suspect has yet to be identified.


Anyone who can help identify the suspect, in this case, is asked to call police at (575) 526-0795.


With cooler morning temperatures approaching, many drivers are starting their vehicles remotely, or with a key, and leaving them running for extended periods of time to warm up. Most modern vehicle engines require only a few seconds to ‘warm-up’ prior to driving. Most people who warm their vehicles for extended periods of time do so simply for personal comfort – to warm the cabin – and not for the good of the vehicle.


Many automobile owners also carry keys to their home, business, or other vehicles on the same keychain, meaning stolen keys could give a thief access to other properties. And some people leave the garage door remote openers in their vehicle which, if stolen, could give the perpetrator easy access to the garage and residence.



  • Refrain from leaving vehicles running and unattended.
  • Do not leave children or pets in a vehicle.
  • Do not leave a vehicle running, unattended, and children inside it.
  • Do not leave the garage door remote openers in open view inside vehicles.
  • Remove or conceal personal property such as purses, bags, and electronics.
  • Close and lock windows and doors when leaving vehicles unattended.
  • Immediately report suspicious persons or activity in your neighborhood.

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