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Leave your car running in Niagara Falls, and it could get ticketed (if not stolen)

If you leave your car running in Niagara Falls, you might get a ticket.

That's because the Niagara Falls Police Department is trying to prevent a result that would be much worse.

Police said that due to a surge in car thefts that have occurred when drivers have left their vehicles running, officers will "proactively look for vehicles left running," according to a statement Wednesday morning by Detective Lt. John Conti.

Conti said part of the new initiative is that officers will be "encouraged to locate the operators of the vehicles and if necessary ticket them for leaving an unattended motor vehicle, which is a violation under the Vehicle and Traffic Laws of New York State."

"The thefts also create a potentially grave risk to the welfare of the general public," he said.

"The persons stealing these vehicles frequently are unlicensed, inexperienced and in some recent cases as young as 14 years old," Conti said. "A two-ton vehicle being operated on the public roadways by someone with little or no driving experience, while knowing that they just committed a crime presents a clear danger to other motorists and pedestrians."

Conti stressed that the public should not leave their vehicles running or leave their keys in the vehicle.

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