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Car thieves hoping you’ll make this mistake this winter
Dec. 11, 2014

York Regional Police is reminding you to be vigilant to prevent warm-up vehicle thefts.

With temperatures dropping, officers have responded to several stolen vehicle incidents, during which cold weather prompted drivers to leave their vehicle unattended while it warmed up.

Criminals see this as an opportunity and seize the moment, simply driving off in the vehicle, police said.

Both high-end and less expensive vehicles have been and it does not appear specific makes or models are being targeted.

The Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) estimates 65 serious injuries and 40 deaths per year Canadawide are related to stolen vehicles.

Auto theft in Canada is estimated to cost Canadians $600 million a year. IBC suggests most vehicles are being exported for profit.

If you must warm up your car, don’t leave it unattended unless your vehicle is equipped with a keyless remote starter or proximity key. Remain in your car or lock it and keep a spare key with you.

IBC reminds car owners that if the keys are left in the ignition, immobilizers will not work.

Never leave your children unattended in a vehicle and do not leave vehicles running and unattended at gas stations, convenience stores, bank machines or any other premises, even if it’s just for a few minutes.

Thieves are waiting for you to make that mistake. While you are at home, keep keys out of sight, not near the door or hanging on a hook near the door. This is the perfect opportunity for a thief.