A vehicle recovery specialist firm has urged drivers to be wary their car does not get stolen as they leave it unattended to de-ice on the drive.
According to TRACKER, the leader in stolen vehicle recovery and vehicle tracking solutions, during winter vehicles are vulnerable to "frost jackings" as thieves make off with cars left with the keys in the ignition and the engine running.
The survey carried out by the firm has revealed that cases of frost jackings have significantly risen, with one car being stolen every five minutes in the UK.
Among all the cars the firm recovers, 84% were stolen using the keys in the ignition.
Leaving a car idling on a frosty morning is likely to be an expensive mistake as drivers can even be charged with an offence for leaving their car running while unattended and it gets stolen.
Car insurance companies could refuse the claim for the theft, leaving owners seriously out of pocket.
Stuart Chapman, TRACKER's Police Relationships Manager, asks motorists: "Would you leave an open briefcase containing £30,000 cash or more on your driveway or outside the local newsagent on a frosty morning? The answer is undoubtedly no.
"However, unbelievable as it sounds, each morning many motorists leave their car unattended with the engine running, making it easy for thieves to drive off with it with no extra effort."
© Press Association 2011