Beware of ‘warm-up flights’, warn Morristown law enforcement

MORRISTOWN, NJ – Morris County Police have received reports of “warm-up thefts” from vehicles. The Morristown Department of Public Safety wants the public to know how to avoid falling victim to this winter crime.

“Warm-up theft” describes theft from a running car left unattended. During the colder months, drivers are tempted to leave their vehicle running to warm it up before getting behind the wheel.

Morristown law enforcement advises against doing this for two reasons. Leaving a running car unattended is against New Jersey law, and the practice makes vehicle owners a quick and easy target for car thieves.

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Several Morris County police departments took note of the crime. Morris Township Police Chief Mark DiCarlo warned the public last month of robberies and attempted robberies that occurred while people were warming up their vehicles. Read more: Vehicle theft occurring in the early hours of the day: Morris Twp. DB

East Hanover Police Chief Christopher F. Cannizzo said the following Tuesday: ‘Even when you’re warming up your car, make sure it’s locked at all times. We and surrounding towns have attempted robberies cars early in the morning when most people are warming up their cars.”

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Here are tips from the Morristown Public Safety Department to avoid “warm-up theft:”

  • Never leave your car running or the keys in the ignition when you’re away from it, even for “just a minute”.
  • Keep valuables out of sight or in the trunk. Purses, money, credit cards and cell phones in plain sight only attract thieves.
  • Always close the windows and lock your car, even if it’s in your driveway, garage, or in front of your home or business. Never leave key fobs in the vehicle.
  • Always be vigilant and report any suspicious activity immediately by dialing 911.
  • If your vehicle has an alarm or other anti-theft device, use it.

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