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Police follow footprints in the snow to find alleged thief, warning others of cold weather crimes

OKLAHOMA CITY – Authorities arrested a 14-year-old girl after she allegedly stole a vehicle that was warming up in a nearby driveway.

Now, officials are using the crime to warn other Oklahomans during the chilly weather.

Police were called to the area of S.W. 56th St. and Douglas Ave. after a witness reported seeing a teenage girl hop into a neighbor’s car that was warming up on the driveway.

Unfortunately, it’s a crime police see a lot during cold weather.

It only takes a second for a thief to take advantage of the situation.

Renee Mares, whose car was stolen, said,  “I heard a car door shut and I ran to the door and my car was backing out of the driveway.”

Luckily for Mares, an alert neighbor witnessed the theft and gave chase.

The witness followed the girl until she slid on the ice and hit a curb.

Officers say they were able to find the stolen Cadillac and followed footprints in the snow until they spotted the alleged suspect.

MSgt. Gary Knight, with the Oklahoma City Police Department, said, “She initially told officers she was shoveling driveways, but that was clearly not the case.  She was out running and had no shovel with her.”

Police say they see a spike in stolen cars during the winter and warn people to never leave running cars unattended.

Mares says she has learned her lesson.

She said, “I never thought twice about it until now.”

With her car recovered and an arrest made, she got the chance to talk to the teenage suspect.

Mares said, “She said, ‘I’m pregnant’ and I said, ‘Pregnant girls don’t steal cars.’  I told her, ‘I hope you change your life for yourself and the baby you say you have in your belly.”

The police report says the girl is facing charges of larceny of a motor vehicle and unauthorized use of a motor vehicle.

Officials say she also had multiple felony warrants out for her arrest, including second-degree burglary, receiving and concealing stolen property, grand larceny, first-degree arson and harboring a fugitive.