Police are advising drivers to make sure to lock up their vehicles after over two dozen vehicles were stolen in the Cochrane area last week.

RCMP say that of the 25 stolen vehicle complaints, 18 of them involved cars that had been left unlocked and/or running with the keys inside.

Officials say that because of that fact, it’s highly likely that those incidents could have been prevented by a simple change in behaviour by the owners.

“These criminals aren’t super motivated, they will literally check to see if a door is locked and then move on when they discover it is,” said Constable Kary Moore with the Cochrane RCMP in a release.

Moore says that when those criminals find a car that is left unsecured, they are free to enter and steal it if they can.

“With the cold weather, would be thieves know that people will leave their vehicles running and unlocked. They prey on these people.”

Anyone with information about property crimes or stolen vehicle investigations is asked to contact Cochrane RCMP at 403-851-8000 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS).

Calgary police have been working on cutting down the increasing number of stolen vehicles in the community for the past two years with Operation Cold Start.

According to recent statistics, Calgary has the highest rate of vehicle thefts in Canada.

Over 5,700 vehicles were stolen in 2017.