Northeast Johnson County police chiefs issue joint warning on leaving running cars unattended


Police chiefs from six northeast Johnson County cities on Monday issued a joint statement warning residents of the dangers of leaving a running car warming up in area driveways.

Chiefs Wes Jordan from Prairie Village, John Morris from Roeland Park, Mike Fleming from Fairway, Mike Daniels from Merriam, Ben Hadley from Mission and Greg O’Halloran all signed a letter reminding residents that thefts of running cars spike this time of year as people get tempted to let their cars warm up, or to leave them running as they run into a store.

“There are literally criminals who drive around and look for opportunities to steal unattended cars,” reads the letter from the chiefs.

In fact, over the past year, cars left running and unattended have been stolen at least 27 times in northeast Johnson County.

Though Kansas law allows people to warm their cars up using remote starters, both state and municipal law prohibit leaving a running car with the keys in the ignition unattended.

“Each of our agencies have an ordinance against leaving cars in this condition. We will be taking special enforcement efforts to collectively reduce this crime,” the statement says. “The more important message is we don’t want another person to be a victim of this crime; it is preventable. Please join our effort, don’t leave your car running, unlocked, or unattended with the keys in the ignition. Working together, we can dramatically reduce this crime.”

See the full statement below: