So it begins: CPS reports 7 vehicles stolen while warming up

Oct 10 2018, 5:24 pm

When will we learn?

The temperatures in Calgary have plunged below freezing, leaving Calgarians with a frigid car ride to work during these October mornings.

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It’s no surprise that many commuters around the city have taken to reviving the age-old strategy of warming up their car as they get their morning started, leaving the engine on and the keys in the ignition — a practice that the Calgary Police Services has been pleading with Calgarians to stop each and every winter.

According to a tweet from CPS, there were seven reports of stolen vehicles between Monday morning and Tuesday afternoon alone, all of which took place after the vehicles’ owners had left them unattended and running.

This is undoubtedly not the last of such reports, as idling vehicles being stolen was a major problem last year.

Over 200 automobiles were stolen while idling between November and December of 2017, and Calgary police found nearly 700 cars unlocked and running during their Operation Cold Start throughout last winter — cars that could have easily been stolen in mere seconds.

The problem got so bad that a Redditor created a counter that kept track of exactly how long it’s been since the last “I left my car running and it was stolen” post on the Calgary subreddit.

While it’s only October, it looks like the idling vehicle dilemma has once again reared its ugly head for the people of Calgary.

Here are a few tips from the police to keep your vehicles where you want them this winter:

  • 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.
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