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Texas Department of Insurance
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January 24, 2022

Don’t ‘puff’ your cold car or truck outdoors; keep thieves away

It’s tempting in cold weather to start your car or truck and then scoot indoors while it turns toasty. This is known as “puffing” because steam puffs out of the exhaust pipe while your ride warms up.

But beware. Thieves may see your unattended vehicle as a drive-away opportunity.

Over a recent three-year period, more than 17,000 Texas cars and trucks were stolen with keys or fobs left inside. And that count may be low because many drivers don’t admit to making the mistake. These incidents also aren’t noted in police reports or insurance claims, according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau.

Other tips to avoid break-ins and thefts

  • Lock doors and windows as soon as you enter your vehicle.
  • Park in well-lit areas.
  • Use a loud alarm or an anti-theft device a thief can see.
  • Install a catalytic converter cover or lock.

Learn more