SCRANTON -- If you have a habit of keeping your car running while you quickly dart into a store, authorities are trying to convince you to stop.
Officials held a news conference in Lackawanna County Wednesday afternoon in hopes of discouraging you from leaving your car running and unattended where it can be stolen.
According to police, on average 120 vehicles get stolen in Scranton every year.
One of the ways to make sure your car or truck isn't an easy target: don't leave it running while you're not in it!
District attorneys in Lackawanna and Luzerne Counties joined the Pennsylvania Auto Theft Prevention Authority in Scranton urging folks to lock their cars and take their keys every time.
The authority, which helps pay for officers and prosecutors who specialize in auto theft cases, says about half of all stolen vehicles have the keys left in them somewhere.
Insurance companies are behind the effort to cut down on the number of stolen vehicles, namely the ones unlocked and unattended, whether it's to warm up your vehicle when it's cold or just to run into the coffee shop for a minute.
"[We do it] very rarely," said Paul Avampato. "Just depends on the day. We just started the car so we just wanted to get it warmed up."
"Several cases recently where they've been taken from convenient stores, gas stations, people run inside to get small items, and they come back and their car is gone, in just minutes," said Lackawanna County A.D.A. Michael Ossont.
A van that was stolen and stripped for parts was parked downtown as a reminder of what some thieves end up doing with stolen vehicles.
Not only do police and prosecutors urge you not to leave your vehicle running while you're not in it, it's also against the law to do that in a public place.