Stuart Chapman, police relationships manager for car security firm Tracker, highlighted the danger of leaving cars with the key in the ignition to ‘warm up’ the engine, during a recent interview.
His warning comes after Tracker produced statistics indicating that a car is stolen every five minutes in the UK and in 84 per cent of these instances, cars recovered were stolen using the owner’s keys.
Mr Chapman called on drivers to be particularly vigilant during the winter months.
“Thieves are opportunists and look out for cars on frosty mornings, shopping around for the most popular makes and models, as temperatures start to drop,” he said.
The security expert also warned that some drivers could even face prosecution from the police if their vehicle is stolen while unattended and with the engine still running.
“They may also find that insurance companies can refuse the claim for the theft, leaving owners seriously out of pocket,” he added.
The comments come as part of a general warning for motorists to apply common sense when getting their car moving over the next few months.