Quite the excitement yesterday.
Just a few blocks from where I live, a mother left her car running while she took her baby in to childcare. She figures she was gone for only “a couple of minutes.” You guessed it, her car was stolen.
Bad enough, but the story could have been a tragedy because a three-year-old was still in the car. The thief ditched the car soon after – probably because he/she saw the child.
The story made national news on television and the newspapers because of what happened next. The police called the mother’s cellphone – still in the car – and the three-year-old answered. He then did what he was told – honk the horn. Cruising police cars picked up the noise and found the car.
“Aiden and the car had been missing for about 20 minutes. Police say it’s fortunate he was found so close, as the suspect could have taken the car (to a different county) in that time span. ” STANDARD EXAMINER
Now, here is an interesting sidelight. In the state where I live it is illegal to idle our cars. As the STANDARD EXAMINER reported this morning, “Police want it to become common knowledge that leaving your car idling in the morning is a big no-no, because the cold always brings out opportunistic carjackers. While it’s tempting to begin warming up the car in the morning, going back inside to finish preparing for the day and returning to a warm, defrosted car, authorities say it’s better to have a cold car than no car. There were four reported vehicle thefts in the Ogden area Tuesday morning, including one where a 3-year-old child was still in the backseat. The child and the car were found safe a few blocks away. All incidents involved the vehicles running unattended. A state statute that went into effect last year prohibits vehicles to be left unattended without the ignition off, and local crime stats show it may have curbed the number of car thefts in the last year.”
So, I guess technically, the mother COULD have been given a ticket.
On the exact same day – just a few blocks from the crime scene – I did the same thing. I let my car idle after I got in and steamed up the windows. I had just left the gym, and I was giving off heat. Yes, I could have wiped down the windows, but I always leave streaks, so I thought I would let the motor run – just this once.
As a rule, I never idle my engine. My car is modern enough – 2006 – that it does not need the traditional “warm up” period my earlier cars needed. I started driving way back in 1964 (1963 if you count farm tractors), when cars still had carburetors. Now, we have fuel injection.
So, anyway, the police could have issued at least two tickets yesterday in the same area. The mother, and yours truly.