Car Crooks Strike During Cold Snap

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Police say with this cold snap we've been having, more cars are getting stolen. It's all because of one reason: people leaving their keys inside their unattended cars.

Michael Omlie learned a lesson the hard way. He went to the 711 off of Platte and Union and was going inside for only a few minutes, so he left the car running. "Because it's cold out and I wanted to keep my car warm." Omlie parked his newly purchased 1987 Lincoln Town car near one of the gas pumps. “I came over here, got a soda, came out of the store, and my car was gone."

Police say Omlie is not alone. The majority of stolen cars are ones with the keys are left in the ignition. In fact, about every 4 to 5 hours in Colorado Springs another car turns up missing. Sgt. Tim Hogan with the Colorado Springs Police Department said, "This is the time of year with the cold weather that people leave their cars running. It’s an opportunity crime; if you give them opportunity, they'll take it."

As Omlie files a police report, he says he will never leave his keys in the car again. "What went through my head is how could someone do that?"

The sad part of this is Omlie has had it pretty rough lately. He used every dime he had to buy the car from the Salvation Army.

Police can give you a $60 dollar ticket if you leave your car unattended with the keys inside.