Pickup stolen after driver leaves it running

By Patty Hastings, Columbian breaking news reporter

Published:

Updated: December 31, 2012, 7:02 PM

 

A pickup truck was stolen from a 76 gas station Monday morning in east Vancouver. The driver left it running while he went into the station to buy a soda.

It’s all too common in the winter months, says Kim Kapp, spokesman for the Vancouver Police Department. A driver leaves a car running for “just a minute” to run into the house or the grocery store, and a car thief swipes it.

At 10:09 a.m., police were dispatched to the gas station. The driver of a bright red Toyota Tundra left his pickup running while he ducked into the 76 station at Southeast First Avenue and Southeast 164th Avenue for a soda. Meanwhile, a maroon Nissan Sentra pulled up next to the pickup. The passenger in the Sentra got out of the car, hopped into the Tundra and drove off, southbound on Southeast 164th Avenue. The Sentra drove off in an unknown direction.

Vancouver police officers canvassed the area, but they were unable to find either vehicle. The red Toyota Tundra has a black canopy and large mud tires. Anyone who spots either vehicle is asked to call 911.

Kapp says an unlocked car with the keys inside makes for an easy getaway. During winter, car thieves will look for the white car exhaust and, if there’s no one around, steal the vehicle.

“It literally takes seconds for someone to hop in a car and go,” Kapp said.

She urges drivers to take the time to take the keys out of the ignition and lock their car.