Thieves Target Idling Vehicles

With cold winter months ahead, police warn not to leave cars
Gilroy – It’s that time of year – the leaves are changing color, the first rainfall has already soaked the ground, the temperature is dropping … and car thieves are on high alert.

A Gilroy woman found out the hard way Friday that leaving one’s car on, even for just a second or two when popping into a store, can be a hefty financial blunder.

The woman pulled up to the 7-Eleven on Leavesley Road about 1am Friday and left her car running while stepping into the store.

A thief on the lookout took advantage and drove off with her 2005 Toyota Corolla.

The suspect is a Hispanic male, and the car is white with a plate number of 5PFT376.

According to Sgt. Wes Stanford of the Gilroy Police Department, this type of theft is a crime of opportunity.

“Typically we see this type of stolen car in the winter months; people like to warm up their cars in the driveway,” Stanford said.

Often times a thief will come across a running car in a parking lot or driveway and take advantage of the driver’s trust, rather than break into the locked car next to it.

“Thieves are human, they’ll take the path of least resistance,” Stanford explained. “You want to make it more difficult for people to target your property … so lock your doors and don’t leave the keys in the vehicle.”

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