MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Memphis Police want you to know it is illegal to leave your car unattended while running.
WREG explains that with the temperature dropping, MPD wants to remind Memphians warming their car up without you in it is against the law.
Memphis police are working to get the word out to residents. If you leave your vehicle running while unattended and it gets stolen, you will get some of the blame – by being issued a citation.
One man we spoke to didn’t agree with the law.
“I think that is kind of robbery itself. Not only are you dealing with the situation of your car being stolen kind of a traumatic moment but at the same time, you getting slapped with a ticket. it’s stupid,” JR Going told us.
Over the weekend, MPD tweeted, “It’s a little chilly out there Memphis! Please remember that you should never leave a running vehicle unattended. It’s not wise and against the law. Sit in the car while you wait for it to warm up. Thieves are looking for easy targets.
One driver didn’t know it was illegal.
“I’m all for it and I think it is a smart thing to do to kind of shut down on crime and people losing their vehicles,” Evan Diner said.
The Memphis Police Department has reported a 93 percent increase in auto thefts so far this year. MPD is getting the word out so that number doesn’t increase with thieves looking to make a quick buck before the holidays.
However, a citation for letting your car warm up in the cold could leave you feeling blue.
“Everybody is struggling to put food on the table, especially around this time of year when everybody is trying to get presents and get together for thanksgiving. Money is already tight as is,” JR Going said.
While some people say they understand the law they don’t necessarily agree with it.
“I mean, I get the point behind it. To keep people from getting their car stolen, but at the same time I think it is kind of pointless because it is not something everyone is going to know about and it is a way to feed money out of people,” JR Going said.
“I think in public in a parking lot or something like that I agree with. In my own driveway I feel like I should be able to do it,” Evan Diner said.
According to the City of Memphis’ website, the fine for leaving your car unattended is 62 dollars and 75 cents.
MPD’s Auto Theft Task Force has arrested around one thousand suspected car thieves this year.