As we enter the fall season with cooler weather approaching, Baltimore County residents may be tempted to leave their cars unattended while they warm up. The term “Warm-Up Theft” describes stealing a vehicle that has been left running and unattended. These thefts typically occur outside a home, apartment building or convenience store. They are crimes of opportunity and crimes that are preventable.

To help drivers protect themselves against “Warm-Up Theft,” the Baltimore County Police Department wants to remind residents of the potential threat and provide some safe alternatives.

  • Turn your car off, never leave your car running unattended.
  • In cold weather, warm up with your car: grab a hot cup of coffee, gloves, and a blanket. It shouldn’t take long – most cars warm up in a matter of minutes.
  • Always take your keys/FOB.
  • Park in an enclosed garage whenever possible.
  • Lock your doors every single time.
  • Look up auto thefts in your zip code through the Baltimore County Crime Dashboardexternal link.
  • Review the top stolen vehicles in Maryland hereexternal link.

Police are asking anyone who sees suspicious activity in their neighborhood to call 911.

Anyone with information about a stolen vehicle is asked to call 410-307-2020. Callers who wish to remain anonymous may call Metro Crime Stoppers at 1-866-7LOCKUP. Residents may also go online to Metro Crime Stoppersexternal link to submit information through the “ P3TIPSexternal link” mobile app.

Read more about the "Warm-Up Theft" law in Maryland here.