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Police: More Cars Stolen in New Year than all of December in Greenfield

Seven cars have been stolen from people in Greenfield over the last three days.

"We've had as many vehicles stolen the last couple of days as we have nearly the entire month of December," said Officer Robert Austin with the Greenfield Police Department.

Ten cars were stolen in all the month of December, and police say it's mostly happening for one reason.

"The vast majority are taken while they're running or warming up," said Officer Austin.

CBS 58 found William Fogarty warming up his car on the same block one was stolen late Saturday night, but he says he won't make the same mistake.

"I'm always present," said Fogarty.

Al Moe was gassing up on the same block two cars were stolen over the weekend. He says he rarely warms the car up when he's not in it.

"Unless it's really cold, but I've got a driveway. I park it next to the house, and I watch the car while I'm sitting there," said Moe.

Police say be careful even in that situation.

"Some of them are being taken right from people's driveways, others from convenience stores or gas stations," said Officer Austin.

Police say there's only one way to prevent a stolen vehicle in this situation.

"That's what we're asking citizens to do -- to forgo that comfort and convenience of having a warm vehicle to drive in," said Officer Austin.

Police say people are stealing these cars to cover up their tracks if they're committing a crime, or for a joyride.

But people don't have to warm up their cars for very long.  

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, most automakers recommend driving off gently after about 30 seconds. The engine will warm up faster being driven, which will allow the heat to turn on sooner.

If you do want to let it idle while warming up, police say stay in your car.

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