by: Richard Thompson Updated:
ABERDEEN, Wash. - Erika Balagot told KIRO-7 she had started her car in the driveway of her Aberdeen home Monday morning to warm it up before going to work. Balagot ran back into the house to grab a few things -- and that was all the time it took for a car thief to hop into her new Dodge pickup truck and take off down the street.
"Shock. I couldn't even use my fingers to dial 911. I was screaming for Aaron.," Erika Balagot said. Her husband, Aaron Balagot, came running and the couple watched their pickup drive down the road.
The couple called 911 and went out hunting for the thieves. They found their truck crashed and abandoned in a ditch.
Aaron Balagot told KIRO-7, "You never think it's gonna happen to you, until it does."
Aberdeen police tell KIRO-7 three cars left warming up in front of homes were stolen in less than an hour this morning. It's actually against the law to leave your car running unattended and, more importantly, it makes you an easy target for thieves. Aberdeen Police Captain John Green says, "Our message is don't do that, come out, stay with your car and don't leave it unattended."
Erika Balagot and Aaron Balagot tell KIRO-7 they have learned their lesson. Aaron Balagot told KIRO-7, "It's best to just start it and sit in it while it's warming up. As much as you hate the cold, that's probably the best way to do it."