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More than 240 idling vehicles stolen in Calgary in the last 3 months

Surveillance footage of the theft of an idling vehicle in Calgary. (file) Surveillance footage of the theft of an idling vehicle in Calgary. (file)

Calgary police are patrolling neighbourhoods as part of an effort to deter car thieves and educate owners who leave their unattended vehicles running.

Operation Cold Start kicked off Monday in Calgary and throughout the province as police look to thwart seasonal crimes of opportunity.

"Vehicles that are left running with the keys inside can be gone in a matter of seconds," said acting Sgt. Chris Terry of the Calgary Police Service crime prevention team. "These crimes can happen anywhere, even if you believe you are in a safe area, and even if your vehicle stays in your line of sight while you're inside your house or a store."

According to CPS officials, there were 246 vehicles reported stolen in Calgary from Nov. 1, 2022 through Jan. 25 that were left running at the time of the crime.

Terry says losing your vehicle to thieves is far more inconvenient than a few moments spent in a cold vehicle.

"A cold car is better than a stolen car, so as the temperatures drop, if you need to warm up your car and you don’t have a remote starter, make sure you bundle up and stay with your vehicle until you're ready to drive away."

Vehicle owners are encouraged to take the following steps to protect themselves, their vehicles and their loved ones:

Never leave a running vehicle unattended with the keys inside or if the vehicle has a keyless ignition;

  • Use a remote starter if possible or stay with your vehicle when warming it;
  • Use a steering wheel lock;
  • Never leave children or pets unattended in an idling vehicle; and
  • Do not leave valuables in a vehicle. Top Stories

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