PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Last week’s low temperatures correlated with an increase in car thefts. 

Lieutenant Ray Evers, with the Philadelphia Police Department, says cold weather seems to inspire car thieves.

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“Our major crimes auto unit has seen an uptick in stolen cars,” Evers said.

He says between February 4th and the 9th 19 cars were reported stolen in Philadelphia.

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“Folks, because of the cold weather, are leaving their keys in their car warming up and they’re in their house and what’s happening, somebody’s stealing their cars,” Evers said.

Who’s responsible for stealing the cars? “There is no demographic, there’s not like one age group or male, female,” Evers said. “It’s a crime of opportunity and with the cold weather and with folks doing this, it’s a problem that’s now getting out of hand because we’ve seen so many in a short period of time.”

Evers adds that if you’re quickly running into a convenience store, don’t leave your car running. He says it’s not very convenient to return to the parking lot only to discover your car is gone.

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Reported by Hadas Kuznits, KYW Newsradio