With the onset of cold wintery weather, car thieves across the province are taking advantage of unlocked idling vehicles.
After a series of dangerous incidents across the province involving stolen vehicles at the end of October and beginning of November police are reminding Albertan’s not to leave running vehicles unattended.
“The Police are asking vehicle owners to keep their keys / key fob on their person when allowing your vehicle to idle,” said RCMP Strategic Communications Corporal Curtis Peters in a press release.
Since Oct. 1 there have been more than 1420 vehicles stolen across the province.
“We know many of these were idling vehicles with the keys accessible,” said Peters.
It can take less than a minute for a thief to get into a running vehicle and drive off.
“Although trucks are predominantly the vehicle of choice, don’t forget to secure your other motor vehicles, like quads, tractors and snowmobiles,” said Peters.
“We have a recent example of a situation where a tractor was stolen and used to ram and disable a police vehicle,” he said, “These situations are potentially deadly.”
Drivers of stolen vehicles can be erratic compromising the safety of both police and the public.
Police encourage people to either stay with an idling vehicle or use a wheel lock to deter thieves.
They also recommend the use of remote starts but said the vehicle should still be kept locked when unattended.