Crime

Do you leave your car unattended while it warms up? Bad idea, Idaho police warn

A Georgia driver scrapes ice off his windshield that accumulated overnight from freezing temperatures Jan. 3 in Savannah.
A Georgia driver scrapes ice off his windshield that accumulated overnight from freezing temperatures Jan. 3 in Savannah. AP

Seven Nampa motorists who left their cars unlocked and unattended last week while windows defrosted came out to find their cars had left without them, police said.

Those seven thefts happened in the first four days of the new year, including four in a two-hour period on Thursday, Jan. 4.

“This happens every year but why we have had so many is unclear,” Nampa Police Sgt. Tim Riha said.

It’s a high number of thefts for the Treasure Valley but nothing compared to Milwaukee, which had 118 warming cars stolen during the last week of 2017, the NBC affiliate in Milwaukee reported.

Nampa police put out three Facebook messages to the public on Thursday warning of the spike in thefts. Late Friday morning, a video of officers high-fiving was posted.

“It’s a banner day, Nampa. A banner day,” the message said. “NO reported vehicle thefts in the city this morning. Not one. Zip. Zero. Zilch. Nada. None.”

These types of vehicle thefts are a much bigger problem on the west side of the Treasure Valley.

While there were 67 vehicles stolen in Boise between Nov. 1 and Jan. 5, just two of those were unlocked vehicles that were warming, according to data from Boise police.

Nampa police arrested a suspect in connection with one of the four vehicles stolen Thursday.

Police said they saw a man get into a stolen 2013 Ram pickup in the 900 block of South Maple Street and then speed off. They searched the area and found the vehicle stopped in the 1000 block of South Garland Street.

The suspect, later identified as Kasey Cheyanne Dana, was standing near the vehicle. He tried to flee on foot on an icy sidewalk but ended up running into the side of a police car, police said.

The 19-year-old Caldwell man was booked into the Canyon County Jail on charges of felony grand theft, felony possession of drug paraphernalia and resisting and obstructing officers.

Katy Moeller: 208-377-6413, @KatyMoeller

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