Raise your hand if you've ever let your car warm up without you in it when the weather is extremely cold. I have too. The practice has gotten a lot of headlines due to the fact that it is illegal to run your car unattended. A change to the law only makes it legal as long as it is NOT on a public roadway. That didn't matter for a Marion man.

Michael McAtee was stopped at the Casey's on Lindale Drive in Cedar Rapids last week and ran in to get some hot chocolate before work. He left his car running. McAtee said that he had his spare key with him and thought that he locked his door. He was wrong. A man at a nearby laundromat spotted the vehicle and drove off in it. Marion police say incidents like this happen several times per year.

Police say that McAtee wasn't ticketed because he was on private property. Officials say remote starters and keyless entries are making it harder for people to break into vehicles. Marion police also say that the ordinance for leaving your car running is rarely enforced.

Police did find McAtee's car on Monday. It will be searched for evidence and returned.


[via KCRG]