TULSA, Oklahoma - With cold temperatures back in the forecast, a lot of people tend to leave their vehicles running in their driveway, so they'll warm up.

But Tulsa Police officers are reminding drivers not to do that.

They warn that criminals are waiting for the chance to steal your vehicle.

Police have a message for drivers who leave their vehicles running. They say it's not a matter of if your vehicle gets stolen but a matter of when.

So far this year, Tulsa Police say they've received more than 3,000 stolen vehicle reports and many of those cases involve people who left their vehicles running so they could warm up or cool down the vehicle.

Sergeant Shane Tuell said that's when thieves strike.

"They'll see the tailpipes for a car warming up. One guy will jump out, jump in the car and there they go," said Tuell.

He said the number of stolen vehicles spike when there's a dramatic temperature change such as the beginning of winter or the beginning of summer.

Within five seconds your vehicle could be gone and police say you might never get your car or truck back.

"They can take that and sell it off to a chop shop or just joyride in it and you'll find it later burned in a field," Tuell said. 

TPD also wants to remind drivers that it is illegal to leave a running vehicle alone.

Officers say the best way to warm up a vehicle is to merely get in and start driving.