Over the past two weeks, the Calgary Police Service has been checking city streets for cars left running to warm up before morning commutes.
According to a release from CPS, a total of 697 vehicles with keys left inside their vehicles were found during Operation Cold Start, and police spoke to each owner about the dangers of doing so.
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.
Calgary saw 5,758 vehicles stolen last year alone, and in the two weeks of Operation Cold Start, 32 vehicles were reported stolen while they were being warmed 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.