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RCMP News Release

Red Deer RCMP remind drivers to not leave cars unoccupied while idling

January 11, 2022 2:39 PM

Red Deer, Alta. –  With the return of cold temperatures, Red Deer RCMP are reminding drivers not to leave their idling vehicles unoccupied in an effort to reduce vehicle thefts.

Fifty-two stolen vehicles were reported to the Red Deer RCMP from October 1 to 20, 17 of which were reported to have had their keys in the vehicle.

“Vehicle thefts of this kind are crimes of opportunity and are preventable,” says Red Deer RCMP Inspector Holly Glassford. “What is most concerning is how the individual may use the vehicle after stealing it. Our data shows that stolen vehicles are often used to carry out additional crimes in the community.”

Whether parking outside your home or in a commercial area, drivers should use caution as it only takes a few seconds for someone to get into a vehicle and drive away. Alberta RCMP estimates that about 33% of all vehicle thefts occur while a vehicle is idling and unoccupied.

RCMP have the following safety tips to prevent vehicle theft and protect yourself:

  • Avoid idling as much as possible.
  • Never leave an idling vehicle unoccupied, even when it is locked.
  • Use a steering wheel lock to deter thieves.
  • Never leave spare keys or garage door openers in or around your vehicle.
  • Never leave children or pets in an idling vehicle.
  • Never leave a wallet or purse inside an idling vehicle.

The public is encouraged to report suspicious activity to the Red Deer RCMP by calling the non-emergency complaint line at 403-343-5575.

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Media Contact:

Red Deer RCMP