TIPP CITY — The Tipp City Police Department is warning drivers against leaving their cars running and unattended after car was stolen from the Speedway on Main Street Thursday night.
Tipp City Police Chief Eric Burris said the department sees running, unattended cars “all the time.”
“Unfortunately, someone else was watching for just something like that. A lot of people don’t think that there are people out there driving around just looking for that to happen, but obviously there are,” he said.
A post on the department’s Facebook page said they will be “heavily enforcing” a city ordinance that prohibits leaving vehicles running while unlocked and unattended.
“It allows us to cite someone for leaving a vehicle running unattended and in this case, that actually did happen,” Burris said. The driver was charged with one count of vehicle left unattended.
Around 7:30 p.m. Thursday, officers responded to the Speedway on Main Street on report of a stolen car.
The stolen vehicle was parked at the pump running, keys in the ignition and unlocked while the driver went inside the store.
According to the police report, surveillance footage showed a gray vehicle pull up and park at a pump. The occupants of the gray car observed the running vehicle and drove around it to see if it was occupied. The vehicle backed up and a passenger got out, ran over to the unattended vehicle and drove off.
The driver reported that several electronic items, his checkbook and passport were in the rental vehicle when it was stolen.
The driver was able to locate his iPad with a tracking app and told police that it was showing up at an address in Dayton. Tipp City officers contacted the Dayton Police Department, which sent out units to check for the stolen vehicle.
The stolen car could not be located, but Dayton officers said the gray car the suspects were driving was taken in an armed burglary in Dayton on Wednesday.
Burris also noted a similar incident in Troy this week in which a running car was stolen from a gas station with a child inside. The department advises drivers to take a few minutes to turn their vehicle off and lock it.
“The lesson here is for people to just realize that there are people out there watching for someone to leave a vehicle unattended or valuables inside the vehicle. Especially around the holidays it’s good to be vigilant and it’s good to protect your own property,” Burris said.
Reach Cecilia Fox at firstname.lastname@example.org.