INDIANAPOLIS - With below-freezing temperatures, many like to warm up their cars before leaving the house -- and for several Indianapolis families, leaving their vehicles to heat up unattended ended in a Christmas disaster.
With Jack Frost nipping, running (empty) vehicles can be spotted throughout Circle City.
On Christmas Eve, James Ogden’s care was one of them. His son left it running.
Ogden gets around with the help of his son and a walker. They estimate it took just a few minutes to make it to the driveway of his east-Indianapolis home.
But the car was gone.
Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department (IMPD) officers are keeping a lookout for the 2003, silver four-door Ford Taurus -- along with more than 30 other cars stolen within the last 48 hours.
Reports show roughly half of these missing vehicles were left warming, with their owners sometimes feet away.
Ogden said on top of losing his car, the theft poses another safety scare for the 87-year-old.
“In the first place, if the car was there, they'd always knew somebody was there at the house so now anybody can come along and say, ‘well there isn't anybody there -- we'll break in,’" Ogden said.
He lives alone after the recent death of his wife.
“It’s sad to be there and miss her this year,” Ogden said. “But you just live day by day.”
Still, the Ogdens said they’re grateful this Christmas because no one was hurt.
IMPD officials say it’s never a good idea to leave the keys in the ignition of an unattended vehicle -- even if you attempt to lock the car while it’s warming up.