Toledo woman has her car stolen while warming it in the winter cold

TOLEDO, Ohio (13abc Action News) - It was the start to another day for one Toledo woman when the unexpected happened.

"You're out here with the dog and just turned around and the car was gone?," asked 13abc reporter Michael Bratton. "Yep, that quick," said the woman who didn't want to be identified. "It was less than two minutes. [The dog] wasn't even out here for a long time."

The woman says she was walking her dog at the Larchmont Estates on Slater when she turned around to notice someone drive her car off the street.

"The only thing I heard was when the car pulled off, and I was just like somebody's really taking my car," said the woman.

Before Wednesday, the woman says she started her 2007 white Ford Focus every morning before heading off to work.

"It didn't come across my mind that my car would get stolen if I do this every day," said the woman.

The mom to-be filed a report with police, but has to find a different way to travel in the meantime.

"Now I have to figure out a way to get to work, either catching the bus or finding rides until either the car is found or either I get a new car."

Lucas County deputies say unlocked, running cars are a prime target for thieves no matter the season and the law tries to protect owners.

"There is an Ohio Revised Code that actually states that you can't leave it in a public place—on property like that—running," said Captain Matt Luettke with the Lucas County Sheriff's office.

In Ohio, vehicles can only be left running if they're parked on private property and locked. But even then Luettke says it's not a good idea.

"If you're in the house getting yourself a cup of coffee..., somebody smashes the window out—it only takes them a second—and then your investment is gone," said Luettke. "At the very least it's a hassle for you to go through the trouble of getting the money from your insurance and, of course, us finding the suspects."

While the woman on Slater in Toledo learned the hard way, she wants others to be informed so the same thing doesn't happen to them.

"It happens," said the woman. "It can happen, and it will happen. Unfortunately, it happened to me."