It may be tempting to leave your car running to let it warm up while you do something else, but the Laramie County Sheriff's Office says that really isn't a good idea.

The agency posted this message on its Facebook page this morning [Jan.6]:

The Laramie County Sheriff’s Office would like to remind our citizens to not leave their vehicles unattended with the keys in the ignition. We understand you want to get into a warm vehicle, especially with the current weather we have. It only takes a second for an opportunistic thief to take your vehicle away.

Leaving your car unattended with the keys in the ignition is also illegal in Cheyenne according to a city ordinance:

31-5-509. Requirements before leaving a motor vehicle unattended.

  • No person driving or in charge of a motor vehicle shall permit it to stand unattended without first stopping the engine, locking the ignition, removing the key from the ignition, effectively setting the brake thereon and, when standing upon any grade, turning the front wheels to the curb or side of the highway."

Cheyenne ordinance, by the way, also requires motorists to clear their windshields:

  • 31-5-955. Windshields and wipers.
    • (a) No person shall drive any motor vehicle with any sign, poster or other material or substance upon or crack within the front windshield, side or rear windows of the vehicle which materially obstructs, obscures or impairs the driver's clear view of the highway or any intersecting highway.
    • (b) The windshield on every motor vehicle shall be equipped with a device for cleaning rain, snow or other moisture from the windshield, which device shall be so constructed as to be controlled or operated by the driver of the vehicle. This subsection shall apply to multipurpose vehicles as defined in W.S. 31-1-101(a)(xv)(M) when equipped with a windshield and an enclosed cab.
    • (c) Every motor vehicle shall be equipped with a windshield and a windshield wiper which shall be maintained in good working order.

The penalty is a misdemeanor charge and a possible $750 fine.

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