Car thieves are taking advantage of the cold snap to swipe idling vehicles.
Red Deer RCMP says that since the beginning of the month 16 vehicles have been stolen, eight of them had been left idling, unlocked and unattended.
In several cases, owners were so close by they witnessed their vehicles being driven off.
“Especially on cold-weather mornings, thieves are cruising residential neighbourhoods and the the parking lots of high-traffic businesses, looking for vehicles that have been left running,” says RCMP Cpl. Karyn Kay.
“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.”
Police recommend drivers use a spare key to lock their vehicle if they are not sitting in it as it warms up. Steering wheel club locks or alarm system stickers also discourage theft.
Remote vehicle starters are another option.