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Cold weather car thefts spike across metro

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OKLAHOMA - Thieves are now watching and waiting for you to start your car on a cold morning.

Thursday morning, four different vehicles were stolen in the Norman area.

It's a crime on the rise this holiday season that's so easily avoidable.

Alyvia Hayes of Norman had just bought herself a Chevy Malibu.

Now, she's back in the market.

"I just made my car payment this morning," she said. "If they had the audacity to steal it, they needed it more than I do."

The car had been left running outside of her Norman home, as she ran inside for a brief errand.

That Malibu is now one of 12 cars that have been stolen in the Sooner city this month alone.

"We've seen a spike in car thefts, most of these stemming from someone that goes outside and starts their vehicle," said Sarah Jensen with Norman Police.

It's not just Norman, though.

Stolen vehicle posts have become a norm all across Facebook.

Police are asking victims for dents, dings, anything that might help identify their vehicle.

"Obviously, knowing your model, make, the type of car you have," Jensen said. "Then, just anything that makes it unique."

In the end, though, the best way to avoid being targeted is to not leave your vehicle running while you're away.

It's a lesson Alyvia now knows all too well.

"Use this as a lesson, and don't leave your car running," she said. "Even if it's cold outside, if you're going inside for something, you always, always take your keys out."

Of the 12 vehicles stolen in Norman this month, five have been recovered.