Their cars were there. Then they were gone.
That's the story two local drivers gave to police Wednesday night after someone took their vehicles. In both cases, the vehicles were left unlocked, unattended and idling to warm up.
A 27-year-old Lawrence man reported that his 1985 Jeep Cherokee was stolen between 9:15 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. from the 1700 block of West Third. The vehicle was valued at $4,500.
About 40 minutes later -- and two blocks away -- someone stole a 1987 Acura from the parking lot outside the Yacht Club, 530 Wis.
The 20-year-old Douglas County woman who owned the Acura told police she started the car about 10:10 p.m., and it was gone when she went outside 10 minutes later. The woman did not give police an estimated value of the car.
Police Sgt. Rick Nickell said car owners could prevent most thefts if they just remembered one rule: "Lock your car and take your keys."
"People need to be aware that it's not a wise idea to leave them out there unattended," Nickell said of idling vehicles. "Somebody could be walking by and think your cold car is a lot warmer than their cold walk."