The Charles County Sheriff's Office has made significant efforts to warn motorists that leaving running cars unattended not only presents an easy target for a thief but is also against the law. Now, officers will begin issuing citations when they discover violations.
The Sheriff's Office began its efforts in December after three running cars that had been left unattended by their owners were stolen one morning in Waldorf. A fourth car was stolen the same way several days later in Indian Head and three more cars were stolen in Waldorf on Feb. 1.
On Feb. 2, officers from the Tactical Response Squad issued 19 warnings to citizens during an hour-long operation in a concentrated area of Waldorf. Sheriff's Office cadets assisted in the efforts on Feb. 6. During a two-hour assignment, they found 79 running cars unattended and left a notice on each windshield advising the drivers they had committed a violation and made their vehicle an easy target for a thief.
"If we can reduce the number of people violating the unattended vehicle law, we will reduce the number of stolen vehicles because this has become the number one cause of auto theft in our community," said Charles County Sheriff Frederick E. Davis. The citation carries a $60 fine.