This is an archived article that was published on in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

When it's cold outside, it's tempting to start the car and wait inside while it warms up. Drivers loves a toasty car on a frigid day.

So do car thieves, the Salt Lake City Police Department warns.

Between Nov. 2, 2012 and March 29, 2013, for example, SLCPD recorded 88 incidents of vehicles stolen while their owners left them idling and unattended.

This year, hoping to cut down on that number — and remind motorists that it is against the law to leave vehicles unoccupied and running — police will be looking specifically for unattended, idling cars.

Drivers returning to such vehicles could find this friendly notice attached to their windshields:

"A Criminal Could've Stolen Your Car!

"Every year in Salt Lake City there are nearly 3,000 vehicles stolen. Many were left running and unattended in driveways, parking lots, etc.

"Please help us reduce this crime of opportunity by not leaving your vehicle like this. We opted to leave you this car instead of a citation. ... Thank you, the SLCPD Auto Theft Unit."

Unattended idling of vehicles is restricted under both State Code 41-6a-1403 and city ordinance 12.56.080.

Twitter: @remims