Caught on Tape: 'Puffing' Car Stolen

By: Rick Montanez Email
By: Rick Montanez Email

"It literally happened in about 90 seconds."

It was an easy getaway for a couple of car thieves Tuesday morning. The crooks stole a car that was left empty and running, which is also called ‘puffing.’ The crime was caught on tape by a security camera.

The owners of the car admit they messed up. They told 11 News they thought their neighborhood was safe.

"It literally happened in about 90 seconds," said Kara Nina Fournier.

Surveillance video shows a car driving down the street. The 2006 Mitsubishi Lancer was taken right out of Fournier's driveway. "That's our only car," she said.

Moments before the theft, Fournier said she joked with her husband, Reggie Ramirez, that the car was gone and when the couple looked outside it really was.

"I turned my back to grab my coat and get in the car and I turned around and it was gone," Fournier said.

In the video, the car is blocked from view by the garage overhang. A dark-colored minivan is seen pulling up along the street. When it parks someone gets out and walks toward Fournier’s car. Moments later the car is seen being driven off, and the van follows close behind.

The crime was caught on tape by a security camera mounted across the street. It was installed a year ago when Fournier’s neighbor was burglarized.

"He captured it on his surveillance, we were lucky that he did," said Ramirez.

The couple admits their car probably wouldn't have been taken if it wasn’t left ‘puffing,’ which is illegal.

"You have to be more alert, more aware,” Ramirez said. “You have to be more responsible, which I was not responsible."

They now have to wait to see if their insurance will even cover the loss, since they were breaking the law.

Anyone with information about this crime should call Crime Stoppers at 634-STOP.

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  • by Jenn Location: CO Springs on Feb 9, 2011 at 02:50 PM
    Locking your car with the keys in teh ignition is a bad idea too. If the crook wants your car bad enough, they'll break a window. They probably won't mind freezing temps on the ride to the chop shop, or wherever. This whole thing is a catch 22, either drive in a cold car, or be a target for a car thief.
  • by Dusty Location: Springs Ranch on Feb 9, 2011 at 10:38 AM
    I forgot to add, I would do both, have a remote starter and an engine block heater. Withi gas being so high and people not always changing the antifreeze and hoses when recommended. This seems like the best solution. The block heater could keep your engine warm enough to get in a go and the remote starter could be run to cerculate warmed air thoughout the cabin of the vehicle and help clear the windows if snow has fallen. Though remote starters are legal, there is nothing that stops the police officer from writing you that ticket, unless he is able to see in and sees no key in the ignition or even takes the time to do it. In that case, you will have to take time off to fight the ticket. Worth it if you ask me. It is for those reasons, if I could use both, I would.
  • by Dusty Location: Springs Ranch on Feb 9, 2011 at 10:20 AM
    As Someone else said, get a second key/key fob to lock your car, get a remote starter added, or add a engine heater if you have a way to plug it in and your car can be warm when you get in. The engine heater should keep the engine warm enough that we would have to risk violating the law by letting the car run unintended. Just unplug and go
  • by Jared Location: cos on Feb 9, 2011 at 09:32 AM
    To Frostyolman: I couldn't agree with you more!
  • by Noname Location: CSC on Feb 9, 2011 at 08:38 AM
    Nath, You can get a second key made and lock your car door from the outside after the automatic unlock has happened, my 4runner does the same thing, I lock it and go inside until my car warms up. I'm not going to damage my car by driving it cold, nor would I want cold breaks to prevent me from stopping and potentially hurting someone.
  • by sam on Feb 9, 2011 at 08:25 AM
    I had to take my sick 4 month old to the doctor yesterday. Instead of having the car already warmed up for him, I had to make a harsh decision to either leave him unattended in my apartment or bring him with me to warm up my car. With the law, either way I would be screwed. So sadly I brought him with me in 4 degree weather to warm it up.. What is this world coming to?
  • by frostyolman Location: COS on Feb 9, 2011 at 08:06 AM
    STEALING IS ILLEGAL...people seriously...doesn't matter if I leave my car running, or with the doors wide open and the keys on the's my car and not any one else's...STEALING IS ILLEGAL...the idea that "puffing" is illegal only serves the insurance company and the sad state of affairs with our local responder department...making criminals out of victims is disgusting...
  • by Michelle Location: c/s on Feb 9, 2011 at 08:01 AM
    its only illegal in colorado. i just moved from alaska, my car was always running and never had a prob
  • by CoNative on Feb 9, 2011 at 07:35 AM
    Funny how we're the ones punished, twice, for the simple act of warming our cars when I bet any money the person that stole this vehicle has a record and shouldn't even be out in society. I DO feel sorry for this couple and I hope their insurance company is sympathetic.
  • by Anon on Feb 9, 2011 at 05:53 AM
    I don't feel sorry for this couple. Every year T.V., Radio and newspapers remind everybody not to leave their car running unattended. It is illegal and obviously can lead to car theft. Bet they won't leave their car running unattended anymore. Sorry, but no sympathy here!
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