Although it's been a mild winter overall, overnight and morning temperatures have been dipping down to the 30s and low 40s on a regular basis.

Those chilly mornings might tempt some to warm up the car before driving away. But if you have a habit of leaving it unattended in the driveway, EPPD wants you to think twice about continuing that practice.

As it turns out, the El Paso Police Department’s Auto Theft Task Force will drive around neighborhoods looking for unattended vehicles left running – a tactic they proved several weeks ago they have not problem doing . And they’re not opposed to doing it again.

A two-day operation in the northeast in mid-January resulted in 68 car owners being warned about the consequences of what the cool kids call “puffing”. Of those, two were issued citations for the violation.

“If this trend continues then this type of operation will continue with the likelihood of less warnings and more citations being issued,” El Paso Police Department spokesman Sgt. Enrique Carrillo told me via email.

Carrillo said the department took action after there was a rash of car thefts in the northeast despite two department news releases and media coverage warning and reminding El Pasoans that leaving a car running unattended is a violation of the Texas Transportation code.

Getty Images/iStockphoto
Getty Images/iStockphoto

“As it became apparent that this was a continuing trend officers and detectives from the Auto Theft Task Force conducted this operation to curtail this practice which makes for an easy target for car thieves or opportunists seizing a chance too easy to pass up, “ he added.

A citation could result in a fine up to $500. The law does not apply to you if your vehicle has a remote start up system and you are in possession of the key FOB.

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