Crooks Targeting Cars Left Running

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A crime of opportunity, crooks are stealing cars while they warm up. At least three cases were reported Monday morning; investigators are working to find out if two of them could be connected.

At 6:15 a.m. a truck was reported stolen while warming up. It happened in a neighborhood near Austin Bluffs and Union. Just five miles away and 30 minutes later, another car was stolen while running without anyone inside the car. Investigators told us the stolen truck was found near Palmer Park and N. Chelton, that’s just one block away from the second stolen car.

Kari Baldwin told us her husband (owner of the second stolen car) was getting ready for work in the morning when he realized he forgot his lunch pail. He ran back into the house to get it, but Baldwin said in that short time, the crook took advantage and stole their car. She said he sped out of the driveway in reverse and continued down the street in reverse.

"He was in a hurry yes, he was. He was going at least 40-50 miles down residential street and we live one block away from a school," Baldwin said.

The suspect is described as a white man in his early twenties, with a buzz cut hair style. The car is a 2010 silver Dodge Charger with tinted windows. The back rear tinted window has the name “Romero” on it.

Baldwin said she believes the suspect is the same one that stole the truck earlier in the day. She said they've learned a valuable lesson, but is also hoping everyone can help be on the lookout for their car.

It is illegal to leave your car unattended while its running and you could be cited with puffing.

If you have any information about the suspect or the Dodge Charger, you're asked to call Crimestoppers, 634-STOP.

Previous Coverage:

A man trying to warm up his truck on a frigid Monday morning made for an easy target for one crook, who stole the vehicle right out of the driveway.

According to police, the truck's owner spotted the suspect standing near the driver's side of his vehicle, which he had left unlocked and running. As he approached the suspect, the suspect asked the victim if he had any gas he could borrow. When the victim said no, the suspect climbed into the truck and began driving off. The victim chased after him and managed to reach the vehicle, only to have a gun drawn on him when he opened his truck door. The suspect then drove off.

The suspect has been described as a white man in his 20s, with brown eyes and sporting a buzz cut. The stolen vehicle is a white 2012 Toyota Tacoma with the initials "CBI" on the tailgate in black lettering. It was stolen from a home on the 4400 block of College Park Court around 6:15 a.m., and may have been speeding from the area.

The truck was later found near the intersection of Palmer Park and North Chelton.