CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police say a person who left a car unattended while it warmed up became an easy target Wednesday morning.

Detectives said the victim went back inside to wait while the car warmed up and defrosted on the chilly, rainy morning when a thief stole the car and took off.

Officers spotted the stolen car on I-85 and got behind him. According to an officer on the scene, there was never a chase; however, the suspect panicked, lost control of the vehicle and spun out.

According to police, the suspect took off running down the highway, and up the ramp.

Within minutes, officers caught the suspect, who suffered minor injuries and had to be taken to the hospital.

Police say cases of unattended cars left running are some of the most common, and most preventable crimes in the city.

"People want to stay inside a few more minutes and let that car get a little more toasty," said CMPD spokesperson Rob Tufano. "That makes it easy for people who want to steal your stuff, steal your car."

Tufano says this year alone, there have been 638 cars that were stolen while left running.

"Harden that target," Tufano says. "Don't make yourself easy prey for these people who want to take your things."