As motorists attempt to warm their vehicles before heading out, more and more owners are discovering thieves have helped themselves to the running vehicles with keys inside.

Members of the Calgary Police Service and RCMP say thieves have been busy of late as vehicles and keys are readily available and easily swiped.

“From October 1 to today, there’s been 1,420 vehicles stolen in the RCMP jurisdiction in the province. It's quite a lot,” said RCMP Cpl. Curtis Peters. “We know that about 25 per cent of those involve vehicles that were left idling with keys in the ignition.”

The RCMP has issued recommendations to reduce the likelihood your vehicle is stolen, a list that includes:

  • Never leaving a running vehicle unattended. Citizens should remain with their vehicle when the keys are in the ignition.
  • Installing a remote starter and ensuring your vehicle is locked.
  • Utilizing a steering wheel lock to deter thieves.
  • Keeping spare keys and garage door openers in secure spots far from your vehicle.