Police give advice before warming up your car in Michigan this winter

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LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – It’s a simple task that saves time and warms your car up before you get in.. and though it may add convenience, police say it could also put you at risk.

“It’s easy, there’s an opportunity where people can take your car by just going into your vehicle and driving away,” says Trooper Samuel North with the Michigan State Police.

Last summer Governor Rick Snyder signed a bill into law that allows Michigan drivers to start their cars and leave them running unattended on private property.

But cities can decide to create a local ordinance against it.. and some have, including the city of Lansing.

Police say that means if you have a remote starter, you can warm up your car without a problem, but your keys cannot be left in your vehicle while it’s running.

So as the frigid temperatures continue to drop this season, police say if you don’t have an automatic car starter and decide to head out with your key, it’s important to pay attention even when you go back inside.

“There’s always that possibility that someone could go, enter your car, take valuable items out of there if you leave your purse or wallet in your car or other valuable items it’s not safe if your vehicle is unlocked,” says Tpr. North.

Trooper North says in addition to that, thieves view warm, empty cars as a gold mine and someone could decide to not just take your items, but make off with your entire car.

So what can you do?

Trooper North says keep a second set of keys, that way you can start your car and lock it afterwards.

“Those are things that aren’t going to happen everyday but it only takes one time for something like that to happen for it to be a life changing moment in your life,” says Tpr. North.

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