A car owner who left the engine of his £33,000 Jaguar running in order to de-ice the windscreen returned to find someone had stolen the vehicle.
It was taken from outside a house in Markfield Road, Groby, near Leicester. Just 50 minutes earlier an £11,000 Ford Focus was stolen from a house in Narborough, also near the city, while the day before, a £15,000 version of the same car was taken from outside a house on Timberwood Avenue, Groby.
On both occasions the owners had been de-icing their cars and turned their backs, leaving the keys in the ignition.
Inspector Marc Simons, from Leicestershire Constabulary, said: "We would urge motorists to stay with their vehicle at any time it is unlocked, and they should never leave it with the engine running. It is increasingly difficult to steal a modern car without its keys, so thieves look for other opportunities to steal them.
"Frosty mornings can give them just such an opportunity. As well as being a distressing crime, it can be an expensive one. Our past experience is that insurance companies will not pay out for cars stolen in these circumstances."
© Press Association 2009