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Harrisburg police warn residents not to leave cars running unattended after uptick in auto thefts

HARRISBURG — Harrisburg Police are reminding residents to be careful after an uptick in auto thefts this week.

In the past 24 hours, officers have responded to seven auto theft reports, police say. In all seven cases, the vehicles were left running unattended, with the keys in the ignition, police say. Residents are leaving the vehicles running to warm them up, creating a perfect opportunity for thieves who are looking for the chance to take them.

Harrisburg police advise residents not to leave the keys in the ignition of their vehicles, whether they’re running or not. Spare keys and garage door openers also should not be left in cars, police say.

If officers come in contact with a vehicle running unattended, they are authorized to seize the vehicle’s keys, secure the vehicle, and wait until the owner presents themselves, police say. Officers are also permitted to issue a $54 citation for unattended vehicles.