The one thing you’re doing that will get your car stolen and earn you a ticket

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WEST VALLEY CITY – Like to warm up your car before heading out?

Police are warning drivers to make sure they in the vehicle if that is the case.

Officers said they are finding several running cars left unattended each morning.

West Valley City Police said they call them “puffers,” thieves who target cars left running.

As Fox 13 tagged along with officers, police found a total of six cars running and unattended in just half an hour.

Police are warning drivers about giving thieves the open invitation but also about the drivers breaking the law.

“We understand it`s a convenience factor but it`s a lot more inconvenient if your car is taken,” WVC Police Chief Lee Russo said. “You`re going to miss a day’s worth of work. Your kid might not get to school on time. It`s a lot of hassle.”

The round-up is about education and warning but officers said you can get a ticket for leaving your car on and unattended.

The fine will cost you about $55.


  • Karl

    Fox, you do realize a lot of newer cars have autostart features? Just because it is running doesnt mean a thief can steal it. It may be running, but if you try to get in, the doors are locked and if you do get in, the moment you put it in drive or any other gear it will TURN OFF!!!

  • Kdc

    Dumbest law ever! Lazy cops cry about too many stolen cars, so they lobby for a ridiculous law so they can focus on what’s important; doing nothing!

    • casey

      yup its called trespassing,, they need a lawful warrant, by a lawful judge with a valid oath of office, foreign agent registration and anti bribery statement, as well as probable cause which no element of probable cause includes running car, considering it only says Vehicle which is commercial in nature only. They would have had to prove that you are commercial without giving you the blatant lie that Utah law requires you willingly surrender your inherent rights so they can get away with violating them.

      • Luke

        Did you forget about probable cause? He look that car is idling in the driveway which violates the law. I do not agree with it at all. I have a remote start system in my car and use it every morning mon – fri. It is cold 5am every morning.

  • Casey

    fortunately it is the people’s responsibility to keep their “car” not “vehicle” as the law is clear on only regulated if commercial. There is also no “valid” law that makes this act a crime. ordinance and statutes are not laws anyway.

  • Donna

    This is good and something people don’t think about. I dated a man for a short amount of time, who, for lack of better words, had a dark past. And he had mentioned this to me on multiple occasions. In his dark days, this is what he would do, is go out on cold winter mornings and look for a car left running to warm up. Although I can’t particularly say I agree with law enforcement ticketing people who decide to risk it anyways. It’s their car, their risk. And a lot of newer vehicles come with remote start so you can start your car from inside your home, without even having to unlock it. And even better, some cars have that feature as well as being able to detect when the key fob is in the car, and in many of them, you can not put the car into gear as long as the key fob is not in the car. So I don’t think the cops should be ticketing people for this, all cars are different, all drivers are different, let them risk it if they want.

  • macie m

    What about the people who have desel trucks you can’t just jump in and drive off they have to warm up I understand if they’re not locked but this is ridiculous

  • Kasey

    It’s actually more than just a convenience. It’s better for your engine to warm it up than to hop in and drive. Stupid that I could get fined because someone stole my car. How about we actually start making the criminals pay for their choices and not everyone else?!

    • bob

      That’s actually a myth. It’s best to let the engine circulate long enough for the oil to reach all the parts, which takes no more than a few seconds, and then drive off slowly, avoiding heavy engine loads until it’s fully warmed up.

      Oil pressure is low at idle speed. You’re also making it take a LOT longer to warm up by letting it sit there idling. That’s bad for the engine for a number of reasons.

      Finally, it burns up a bunch of extra fuel for no reason.

  • bob

    Welcome to America, everyone’s favorite formerly free country.

    They’ll ticket you because a criminal might steal your car? Unbelievable. Who dreamed this one up. I want to know who sponsored the bill.

    • Casey

      There is no actual bill man, no actual legal statute or ordinance, that’s the point. There is no law!!!! Period!!!! Do to the separation of powers, only the state legislature had the privilege to write bills or change them, and amendment is strictly prohibited… Game over. Even if they truly wrote a bill, it may only apply to Commercial vehicles anyway just the same as every other law as well. If they actually read the law they would know. And no officer nor judge has the privilege to tell you otherwise.

  • Justin

    I agree with the article except for the 55 dollar ticket. I’d fight it, there is no written state or federal law stating it is illegal, sounds like a money scam and also sounds like they want to charge us money because we’re making there “jobs” harder to do. Customers make my job hard everyday does that mean I can write them a ticket for it? No. I would take this to the full extent and fight any unreasonable and irrational ticket like such.

  • Finny Wiggen

    Wow, talk about over reaching!!

    We live in such a judgmental era. If I want to leave my car running and near the street unattended, that is entirely my business, and my right. Heck, if I want to put a giant sign on the back of it, with flashing neon lights that say “Please don’t steal me, because I am running, and my owner will not check on me again for 30 minutes” then that is my right.

    The police frankly are not only out of line, but are acting immature. The nanny state mentality has now officially reached the level of the absurd!

    If a police officer showed up at my door to ticket me, I would politely take the ticket, and at the same time, politely inform him that he was absolutely in the wrong, and that while he can give me the ticket, he better not attempt to lecture me, because if he does, I will very politely inform him that he is an idiot…

    It is incidentally okay to call an officer an idiot, so long as you do it politely, and you obey all their orders.
    I would however under no circumstances allow a self-righteous officer to lecture me on how I am putting myself at risk of being victimized.

    I would change the subject to something along the lines of how his overly tight shoes are putting him at risk of feet problems later in life, or how is clearly overly large belly is a result of too much eating, and how he really needs to cut down on the snacks…

  • Quinientos

    I was thinking it was a law about global warm…oops, I mean climate change. Isn’t there a new law in SL county about not leaving your car idling because it causes air pollution? The fine would then be for polluting the air. Getting your car stolen is just an additional negative consequence. If it is a law, does it apply to cars idling on private residential property? They restrict us on how we can heat our homes, why not on how we heat our cars? Stupid commie progressives!

    • casey

      no, sl has no valid law for either global warming or vehicles. Key word is “valid” they may produce something in writing but it was probably done by the city council who lacks the privilege by us to write anything new. that authority rests with the legislature. besides they have yet to prove the validity of global warming anyway so that has no merit. you will lose it with a lawyer as well as local pathetic courts because the judges here try to be god. you have to fight yourself and in federal court and put them on judicial notice of their lack of power to do this. Besides your right when you ask why they regulate what you do in your home… if they do not own it, they can not regulate it. the law is very clear. thats why it’s called a vehicle and not a car,,, in legalize, the term car and vehicle are two very different things. they have only power over commercial transportation, which is why there is no requirement for you to have a drivers license, vehicle registration or insurance to travel on the roads that we own not the state. game over.

  • Kent

    Can’t leave your locked car running in the morning. Can’t leave your dog in your fenced in backyard. Hell, pretty soon we won’t be able to sit in our front yards.

  • Derrick thompson

    If they wanna get they car stolen let them they should have enough common scence just leave them alone when the come to the pd tellin u their car was stolen laugh and say puffer this was written by a 12 year old

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