Cold Crime: Police warn of car thefts while warming up your vehicle

Police warn Minnesota drivers: Don't warm up your vehicle with the keys inside, because it could cost you a ticket, or even, a stolen car

(CBS) MINNEAPOLIS - Every winter, when the cold rushes in, police issue a warning: don't leave your car running with the keys inside because it could, and frequently does, lead to that car getting stolen.

Who knew simply warming up your car could result in such a cold crime?

CBS Minnesota reports many cities have gone as far as establishing ordinances against running a car with the keys in the ignition and no one inside the vehicle.

In Minneapolis it could cost you a $34 ticket. In St. Paul, an officer can take your keys and bring them back to the police station.

In order to avoid trouble with the police - or car thieves - CBS Minnesota reports several people are getting remote starter systems installed.

The device is legal because you can start a car without having keys in the ignition. Accompanying security measures also prevent the car from moving without the keys.

However, even with the remote starter, drivers still have to be careful not to break the Minneapolis law that prohibits cars from idling for more than three minutes.

That's cold.