Spike in stolen vehicles since cold spell started in Calgary

File: Calgary Police Service car. File/Global News

The Calgary Police Service (CPS) is reminding Calgarians to be careful while warming up their vehicles.

A CPS spokeperson told Global News there has been a spike in auto thefts since the cold weather began. They said an average of 15 vehicles are stolen in Calgary each day, 25 per cent of which have their keys left in the ignition. Between midnight on Wednesday and 11 a.m. Thursday, 11 vehicles were stolen in Calgary while they were left unattended.

In a release Thursday, police said citizens need to be aware that vehicles with keyless ignitions can also be stolen while they are idling if they do not have an immobilizer.

Besides being inconvenient to the vehicle owner, police said stolen vehicles can use a significant amount of resources to recover.

Police cited an incident from October where a vehicle was stolen with the keys in the ignition.

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Police said in order to stop the vehicle the following day, they had to access HAWCS, and over 30 CPS and RCMP members from four RCMP detachments were used. They reported the stolen was vehicle putting the public at risk by running red lights and driving at excessive speeds.

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