Gardaí in Donegal are reminding motorists to be more crime-aware while defrosting cars on frosty mornings.
It may be tempting to wait in the house while the engine runs, but this creates an easy opportunity for thieves.
During a cold snap last year, two cars were stolen while they were being defrosted in separate incidents in Longford and Kildare.
A Donegal Garda spokesperson said: “Please do not start your car in order to defrost it and leave it unattended particularly in a built up area. It is much too risky.
“Do not make life easy for opportunist thieves who would be only too happy to take your motor off your hands!”
The advice is to defrost your vehicle externally by using de-icer or warm water.
Gardaí said: “If you turn on your car please remain inside your car and take the time to defrost windscreens thoroughly. Never leave your car unattended while it is unlocked or while the engine is running.
“Please also ensure that your tyres and wipers are adequate for cold driving conditions.”
Furthermore, it is an offence under Section 87 of the Road Traffic Regulations Act 1963 to leave a vehicle unattended on a public road with the engine running.