Warm up thieves target Calgary, 7 cars stolen in 2 hours
Friday, November 3, 2017, 1:11 PM - With temperatures dropping and snow accumulating in Alberta, the Calgary Police Service is reminding residents to keep their vehicles secure when warming them up.
Between 6 a.m. and 8 a.m. Friday morning, seven vehicles were stolen in the city after they were left unattended.
"When a car is stolen, it is not just a major disruption to the owners life," Calgary Police posted on Facebook. "Stolen cars are also often used to commit other crimes, which puts other innocent people at risk and takes police officers away from other work."
Offenders can also drive away with credit cars, identification documents, garage door openers and keys that can give access to the victim's home, the police service added.
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Residents are asked to always take their keys with them anytime they leave their vehicle as it takes less than 30 seconds for someone to see a vehicle running and drive away with it.
In total, 11 vehicles have been stolen by warm up thieves in Calgary since Nov. 1.
"Citizens with keyless ignitions should also be aware that their vehicles may be vulnerable when idling," said Calgary Police.
"At least one of the vehicles stolen while warming up had a keyless ignition and was left unlocked. Though the keys were not in the vehicle, the offender still managed to drive away with the car. Not all vehicles with keyless ignitions are equipped with an immobilizer, which would shut off a vehicle if it is driven a certain distance away from the key fob."
Here are some quick tips, courtesy of Calgary Police:
• Never leave a running vehicle unattended. If your keys must be in the ignition to warm it up, citizens should remain with their vehicle.
• Install a remote starter if possible, however, always make sure the vehicle is locked.
• Use a steering wheel lock to deter thieves.
• Never leave children unattended in a running vehicle.
• Never leave spare keys or garage door openers in or around your vehicle. If a garage door opener goes missing at any time, the garage door should be immediately recoded.
• If your keys are stolen, immediately change the locks for the keys that have gone missing, including residences and vehicles.
• Always lock the man door leading from a garage into a residence.