Police Warning: Thieves Look for Vehicles Left Running on Cold Mornings

Ross Township police recovered a car stolen Tuesday from in front of its owner's home.

Ross Township Police charged one man after recovering a stolen car in the parking lot outside the upper entrance to Dick's Sporting Goods store in the Northway Mall Tuesday morning. Jason Michael Mohoska, 35, of Pittsburgh is charged with theft, receiving stolen property, and resisting arrest, according to court records. 

Police say the thief didn't have to work hard to steal the Lexus sedan because it had been left running, unlocked, outside the owner's home, less than a mile from the mall.

"The owner was warming up the car, and when he returned to the driveway, it was gone," said Detective Brian Kohlhepp of the Ross Township Police Department. "Letting a car warm up on a bitterly cold morning is tempting, but it's also a very dangerous practice."

One officer, aware of the stolen car report, spotted it in the parking lot and waited for the suspect to return from inside the mall.

"A lot of people also leave their cars running when they stop at convenience stores, figuring they're only going inside for a minute, but it takes just a few seconds for someone to steal your vehicle when you make it that easy for them," said Kohlhepp.

If you have to park outside on cold mornings, Kohlhepp suggests a remote car starter with anti-theft features, which shut down the engine if anyone tries to drive away without the keys.

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