The Calgary Police Service will be checking city streets for cars left running to warm up before morning commutes as part of the newly relaunched Operation Cold Start.
According to a release from CPS, a total of 5,938 vehicles were stolen in 2018, many of which had their keys left inside.
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The week-long operation is in its third consecutive year, first being launched in 2016 as a way to educate Calgarians on the dangers of leaving their vehicles unlocked, running, and unattended.
Not only is your car at risk of being stolen, the release states, but it also puts others in danger, as drivers in stolen vehicles are much more likely to drive recklessly, and to use those vehicles to commit other crimes.
“Many people believe that their vehicle isn’t going to be stolen because they live on a quiet street or are only leaving it unattended for a minute,” said Staff Sergeant Graeme Smiley of the CPS District Support Unit in the release.
“However, the reality is that we see these type of vehicle thefts all across the city and it only takes a couple of seconds to happen. Stolen vehicles pose a significant risk to public safety and we need the community’s help to prevent these easy thefts. We recommend citizens always use a remote starter or stay with their vehicle while it warms up.”
Police are asking that Calgarians be vigilant when warming up their vehicles, and have supplied a list of tips for keeping themselves, their cars, and everyone else safe from would-be thieves.
- Never leave a running vehicle, where the keys are in the ignition, unattended.
- Never leave running vehicles, where the vehicle has been started with a keyless ignition or push-button start, unattended.
- Use a remote starter whenever possible and keep your vehicle locked.
- Use a steering wheel lock to deter thieves.
- Never leave spare keys or garage door openers in or around your vehicle. Always lock the person door leading from a garage into a residence.
- Never leave children or pets in a running vehicle.
- Do not leave valuables, including identity documents and bank cards, in a vehicle, under any circumstances.
- If you witness a crime, such as a vehicle being stolen, call 9-1-1 and provide as much descriptive information as you can. Never approach a suspect or pursue a stolen vehicle.