On a chilly morning like this one, a lot of us are tempted to start a car parked on the street and leave it running for a few minutes while we finish up inside. Here's a story demonstrating why that's a bad idea: A puffer car that was stolen yesterday wound up involved in a fatal crash moments later. Continue for the unfortunate details.
The incident got underway on the 3300 block of North Krameria Street, an area captured in the following interactive graphic. If you have problems seeing the image, click "View Larger Map."
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According to the Denver Police Department, officers were called to Krameria on a report of a stolen motor vehicle. The man who phoned revealed that he'd left his car parked, unlocked and unattended as he warmed it up -- and the next thing he knew, someone was driving it away.
The suspect fled eastbound on East 35th Avenue and seemed likely to make a clean getaway. But something happened near East 38th Avenue and North Quebec Street, a short distance away. Below, see another interactive graphic showing that intersection.
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The cops say the suspect crashed into another car in the vicinity. Both drivers were transported to an area hospital with serious bodily injuries, and the car-theft suspect was subsequently pronounced dead.
The DPD has been campaigning on social media against so-called puffer cars since the weather turned colder, using graphics like this one:
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The release about the crash underscores this point. "Seriously friends," it concludes, "we want to again urge you to refrain from leaving your car running unattended. Puffing is a ticket-able offense, and is an open invitation to car thieves."
Including a thus-far-unidentified man whose seemingly easy score cost his life.
Send your story tips to the author, Michael Roberts.