CPD to drivers: Please, please, please don’t leave your cars running on the street

For reasons that defy explanation, large numbers of Chicagoans continue to leave their cars running and unattended on city streets. And those cars are being stolen in droves.

According to police, many of the people who are losing their cars to auto thieves are food delivery drivers. So, not only are they losing their transportation, but they’re also losing a source of income.

Motor vehicle theft reports increased by 11% citywide last year, according to CPD data. And that does not include more than 1,400 carjacking cases. Those are categorized separately as robberies.

Detectives identified specific patterns on the North Side and the West Loop this week, but thefts are rampant throughout the city.

In an email to media outlets Tuesday, CPD asked news organizations to “please remind your viewers/listeners not to leave their cars running and unattended.”

Of course, CWB readers are all brilliant, streetwise, and full of common sense, so we won’t waste your time with that.

The email warned about a series of auto thefts since Christmas involving cars that were left running on streets in Edgewater, Lincoln Square, Uptown, and West Ridge. Thefts were reported:

  • in the 5000 block of North Lincoln at 6:50 p.m. on December 27
  • in the 5000 block of North Ashland at 9 a.m. on December 29
  • in the 5100 block of North Lincoln at 9:10 a.m. on December 31
  • in the 5400 block of North Western at 3:30 p.m. on December 31
  • in the 5700 block of North Lincoln at 4:45 p.m. on January 1
  • in the 5700 block of North Glenwood at 5 p.m. on January 2

On Wednesday, police issued a similar warning for the West Loop neighborhood where at least five idling cars have been stolen recently. Those cases were reported:

  • in the 1000 block of West Madison at 11:30 p.m. on December 13
  • in the 900 block of West Washington at 12:30 p.m. on December 14
  • in the 1000 block of West Washington at 8:10 p.m. on December 14
  • in the 100 block of North Carpenter at 7:20 p.m. on December 19
  • in the 1000 block of West Madison at 8:20 p.m. on December 19

Police are urging drivers to turn off their vehicles and take their keys with them, even if they are only going to be out of the driver’s seat for a short time.

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CWBChicago was created in 2013 by five residents of Wrigleyville and Boystown who had grown disheartened with inaccurate information that was being provided at local Community Policing (CAPS) meetings. Our coverage area has expanded since then to cover Lincoln Park, River North, The Loop, Uptown, and other North Side Areas. But our mission remains unchanged: To provide original public safety reporting with better context and greater detail than mainstream media outlets. Our editorial email address is news@cwbchicago.com