Car theft more common when vehicles left to idle

With winter dragging into spring, the issue of car theft has been rising, due to people idling their vehicles.

Many Calgary residents, who don’t have remote starters, will leave their keys in the ignition to warm their car 15 minutes before their departure.

But this makes the car an easy target for thieves.

According to recent reports, an average of 111 vehicles are stolen each week in Calgary, one of the highest rates in the country.

“I always run my car 15-20 minutes before I leave the house,” said Macalester Donald, a Strathmore resident.

“It’s not good for your car to run when it’s this cold out, you can wreck your engine by doing that.”

“Personally I never idle my car, it’s something I don’t want to risk. I’m not one of those people who get mad at others for doing it either. It’s a personal choice, I’m just someone who prefers not to do it,” said Shelby Johnson.

“I feel that there should be a bylaw on idling,” said Lana McLellan, a citizen who is passionate about the environment.

“Not only would it decrease vehicle theft in the city and help bring crime down but it would benefit the environment,” McLellan said.

“The unneeded pollution that comes with idling is gross. If citizens were to stop idling altogether it would make a bigger difference that one would think.”

An easy solution to car theft

This issue of car theft rising during the winter months has an easy solution: Don’t leave your keys in your car unattended. Calgary police have been pleading with citizens to stop doing this.

“If you don’t want your car to be potentially stolen then don’t leave your keys in your car,” said Johnson.

“It’s a self-inflicted crime.

“If someone sees keys in a car obviously an odd percentage will take advantage. There shouldn’t have to be a bylaw. Just don’t be stupid.”

If people insist on having a warm car for their ride to work there are other options rather then leaving your keys in the ignition such as getting a remote starter.

Although such a device can be expensive, it eliminates the risk of your car being stolen in those 10 minutes you go back inside.

“I never chanced leaving my keys,” said Donald.

“I spent the extra money and got an automatic car starter.

“I’d rather pay that then the fees and go through the long process of trying to get my car back.”

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