November 30, 2016 8:48 pm
Updated: December 1, 2016 12:54 am

Calgary police launch Operation Cold Start in hopes of preventing vehicle thefts

WATCH: It has been nippy in the mornings lately, but if you warm up your car with the keys inside, don’t be shocked to find a police officer on your doorstep. Mia Ssoiak explains why.

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If you warm up your car and leave the keys inside in the morning, you may get a knock on the door from Calgary police.

It’s called Operation Cold Start and the goal is to try and prevent rising vehicle thefts around Calgary.

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“Between the hours of six and eight in the morning, we’re actually trying to find vehicles that are running with keys in the ignition, approaching homeowners and tell them how quickly they could have been taken without the homeowners knowing it,” Staff Sgt. Brad Moore said. “We’re trying to do some preventative and proactive police work to let those people know that those are prime targets for people looking to steal vehicles.”

On Wednesday morning, patrol officers found 157 vehicles in Calgary left unlocked and running between 6 and 8 a.m. During the same time, five vehicles were stolen and only one was recovered.

Car thefts not only drive up insurance costs for everyone, but Calgary police suggest the vehicles are also often driven dangerously. Thieves who steal them may be high on drugs and may also use the vehicles to commit other crimes.

Police said 12 vehicles are taken each day in Calgary and a quarter of them have the keys left inside, something officers suggest also leaves homes vulnerable to break-ins.

-With files from Mia Sosiak

© 2016 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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