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Forum staff reports, Published December 23 2008

Motorists warned to lock their cars

This is the time of year when many drivers allow their vehicles to warm up before driving them, which can lead to an increase in the number of motor vehicle thefts.

The Fargo Police Department warns motorists that leaving a vehicle unsecured while it is unattended, running or not, violates city ordinance.

There were 193 stolen vehicles in Fargo in 2006. Due in part to a yearlong publicity campaign urging residents to lock their cars and take the keys with them, 130 vehicle thefts were reported in 2007, according to a release from Sgt. Jeff Skuza.

The number of vehicles stolen this year appears to be rebounding, the release stated, with 177 vehicle thefts up to Monday.

City ordinance allows two exceptions when a motorist wishes to leave a vehicle running and unattended. Using a remote starting device is allowed if it renders the vehicle inoperable without putting a key in the ignition. Locking the doors while the vehicle is running is also allowed.