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MORGAN COUNTY, Ala. — Now that mornings are getting colder, many like to wake up a bit early to crank their car and warm it up all while continuing their morning routine. If you aren’t careful, it could lead to your vehicle getting stolen.

The Morgan County Sheriff’s Office is warning of ‘warm-up thefts’ this winter season.

On a Facebook post, the Sheriff’s Office describes the term “Warm-Up Theft” as a widely used term among car thieves to describe the stealing of a car that has been left running and unattended to warm-up.

Mike Swafford, the PIO of the Morgan County Sheriff’s Office says simply knowing about the threat can help deter potential crime since people are more aware, but of course, there are additional steps you need to take.

“if you are going to warm up your car, lock it,” he said. “Have a second key. If it’s a remote start, that should be locked so you should be fine. Just be conscious of the threat that leaving it unattended and running is just inviting someone to take it.”

Swafford says while they have not received any reports of warm-up thefts yet, it’s something to be expected. He hopes Morgan County can avoid the thefts this winter season.