Puffing leads to 100-plus 'preventable' car thefts, say Springs police

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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) - Every year, 11 News reports on vehicle thefts that happen while puffing.

Springs police say more than 100 people have lost their cars this year because they decided to leave them running unattended.

The 96 number posted to Twitter is only from January to October of this year, police told 11 News reporter Khloe Keeler. The most recent data is unavailable at the time of this writing, but Keeler was told the number is well over 100 so far.

“It takes a matter of seconds for someone to get into that motor vehicle and take off. Even if you have the door locked, it takes a matter of seconds to break that window, get behind that steering wheel and move on,” said Colorado Springs police Lt. Howard Black.

Even if a potential thief is caught in the act and the car is not stolen, a broken window could cost into the hundreds.

“It has an incredible financial tag attached to that stolen car, and in many cases, they are going to have broken windows," Black said. "Just a broken window is $200 to $300 to have that replaced.”

Police say they want the community to be aware for their own safety.

“We continue to see people leaving their cars running as they are running into convenience store," Black said. "They think they can see the car from outside, and when they come back out, their car is gone."

That was the case of a puffing theft from Wednesday.

Plus, police say drivers could find themselves in a legal situation if their stolen car was involved in some sort of crash or bad situation.

No matter how tempting, it's better to drive in a cold car than have no car.