Idling, unlocked vehicles a magnet for thieves: RCMP

With the intense cold snap settling down over Alberta, it’s understandable that many local residents are leaving their vehicle running...

An unlocked

With the intense cold snap settling down over Alberta, it’s understandable that many local residents are leaving their vehicle running to keep them toasty warm. However, an unlocked, idling vehicle can be an invitation to the wrong people, even in farm yards or small towns.

Sgt. Corey Kyle, commander of the Thorsby/Breton RCMP detachment, said he and his RCMP members have seen the same issue in the rural area.

“It’s a crime of opportunity,” said Kyle by phone Dec. 8. “These people aren’t breaking windows to get in.

“Leaving cars idling, even on a cold day, is a dangerous habit.”

Kyle said suspects may be working alone or in a group, going door to door and trying handles to see if a vehicle is unlocked. If it’s idling, that’s even better for the thief.

The issue is cropping up in both urban and rural areas, exacerbated by the frigid weather.

According to a press release from RCMP K Division, since December 1, Red Deer RCMP have received reports of approximately 16 stolen vehicles, eight of which had been left idling, unlocked and unattended; in several cases, vehicle owners were so close by that they saw their vehicles being driven away by quick-moving thieves.

“Especially on cold weather mornings, thieves are cruising residential neighbourhoods and the parking lots of high-traffic businesses, looking for vehicles that have been left running,” says Corporal Karyn Kay of Red Deer RCMP. “If you leave your vehicle unlocked and running, your chances of victimization are high – it takes mere seconds for an opportunistic thief to climb in and drive away.”

In such cold weather, police understand that it’s necessary to warm up vehicles, but RCMP urge drivers to use a spare key to lock your vehicle if you choose not to remain in it while it’s warming up, and to explore options such as remote vehicle starters, steering wheel club locks and alarm system stickers that will make you a less attractive target for thieves.


Just Posted

Certified Sustainable Beef Workshop introduces new approach

Alberta beef industry is one of the most sustainable industries in the province

Council reallocates funds to purchase portable amphitheatre

$100,000 entrusted from Heart of Town Association will be used for the purchase

Fentanyl information session gives parents a new perspective

Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools partnered with RCMP and Turning Point

The Little Mermaid comes to Sylvan

The Ecole Mother Teresa Performing Arts Department performed the musical

Multi-sport event approved for August-long weekend

Multi-Sport at the Lake will include a triathlon to be held on Aug. 4

WATCH: Record number of nominees for Women of Excellence

Various Central Alberta women recognized for their different contributions

Canadian Paralympic team picked up record 28 medals

The 55 athletes strong had set a cautious goal of 17 medals for PyeongChang

Canadian comic Mike MacDonald dies at 63

Ottawa-born comedian had performed on David Letterman

Young Jersey cow takes Saturday night walk through Ponoka

Ponoka residents help police locate runaway bovine, which was safely collected.

4 facts to ring in St. Patrick’s Day

What do you really know about the Irish celebration?

PHOTOS: Team Tanner takes in northern lights in Yellowknife

The aurora borealis and storm hunters photograph Yellowknife’s picturesque night skies

Search continues for 10-year-old Montreal boy missing since Monday

Montreal police said they are exploring every possibility in search for Ariel Jeffrey Kouakou

Airline passenger-rights bill claws back protections for travellers: Advocate

Bill C-49 would double tarmac delays, scrap compensation for flights affected by mechanical failures

UPDATED: ‘New wave’ of anti-pipeline protests return to Trans Mountain facility

About 100 demonstrators with Protect the Inlet marched to the Burnaby terminal Saturday

Most Read