Police see rise in unattended car thefts this winter

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CHARLACK, MO (KTVI)-- Suspected car thieves were caught red handed by St. Louis police Wednesday morning. It’s another case of a car stolen while warming up.

The St. Louis Police Anti-Crime Unit got word that an SUV was stolen in Charlack in North County overnight.  The car was spotted on Interstate 70 heading into the city.

Several unmarked police cars followed the SUV for miles.

The car stopped at a QT gas station on Gravois and Pestalozzi.  There the driver, a man in red pants and a black jacket, started to walk inside the store, that's when police with guns drawn swarmed the man, handcuffed him and took him into custody.

The owner of the car had apparently left it running to warm up in Charlack.  County police have seen a rise in the number of cars left unattended this winter.

St. Louis city police say so far this year there have been 81 idling car thefts.  

Police say there is an ordinance that allows police to ticket a car that is running and left unattended.

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