A spike in warm-up thefts has taken place in driveways and parking lots across Peel Region over the past week, and police are issuing a warning to residents.
“The convenience of a warm car on a cold day is relatively minor compared to the inconvenience of having your vehicle stolen,” said Peel Regional Police acting Insp. Donald Ross from the commercial auto crime unit.
With six of 10 thefts this winter taking place in the new year, police were seeing fewer incidents last month due to mild temperatures, said Const. Rachel Gibbs.
There were 39 warm-up thefts in Mississauga, Brampton, and Caledon in 2015, police confirmed.
It takes less than a minute for a thief to steal a vehicle when it’s left running and unattended, but these crimes impact everyone, increasing insurance premiums and creating a potential risk to the public due to criminals operating stolen vehicles on our streets, said police.
Anyone with information about commercial auto crime is asked to phone (905) 453-2121 ext. 3310 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.
- Never leave your vehicle running and unattended – even in your driveway.
- If you must warm up your car, use a remote starter or lock the vehicle and use a spare key.
- Park the vehicle as close to you as possible.
- At home, install a motion activated light in your driveway.
- Never leave your valuable items in plain view. If possible, use your trunk to store them.
(Source: Peel Regional Police)