CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) — The Park Forest Police Department is warning residents that leaving cars running and unattended is an ordinance violation and it will be enforced.

Police Chief Christopher Mannino said, after a dozen thefts of running vehicles, the city is cracking down on an ordinance against leaving a running car unattended, and issuing fines of $25.

“We have an ordinance that does not allow someone to leave their vehicle running and unattended if it’s on a public way, or in a non-residential parking lot,” he said. “While we don’t want to issue citations, the issue’s gotten so pervasive in the thefts of these vehicles that that’s just one way we’re trying to address the situation.”

The chief said the department is not in the habit of writing tickets to generate revenue, but issues them when necessary to change behavior.

Mannino said there have been a dozen cases this winter of running cars being stolen after they were left unattended.

“Carjackings and car thefts are on the rise throughout the Chicago area, and while some of that’s probably not preventable, we want to address those instances that are preventable,” he said.

Cars left running on private driveways are not in violation of the ordinance, and would not be ticketed, but Mannino said police still strongly discourage motorists from leaving their cars running and unattended.

Vehicles with remote starters also are exempt, since they can’t be put into gear without the key.

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