Don’t leave your vehicle outside with engine running!

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SURREY RCMP said Monday that their latest crime analyst report shows that on a single morning in mid-November as many as five vehicles were stolen from a small area in one neighbourhood, all with the keys in the ignition, unlocked, and with the engine running.

As we approach winter and colder temperatures, police are reminding citizens not to leave their vehicles outside their houses with engines running in order to warm them up.

Earlier this month, officers with the Surrey RCMP’s Crime Reduction Unit (CRU) conducted patrols of the same affected area and observed no less than 13 vehicles with engines running, unoccupied and with keys in the ignition within a one-hour period. In some instances these officers took the keys out of the ignition, knocked on the front door of their respective owners, and gave them their keys back reminding them of how easy it is to steal their vehicles in these circumstances.

“In these instances the owners were completely unaware that police officers had even entered their vehicles,” says Cpl. Bert Paquet of the Surrey RCMP. “Luckily, this time, the people entering their warm vehicles were nice police officers instead of thieves.”

Little known fact:  Leaving an unsecured motor vehicle is also an offence under the Motor Vehicle Act (Sec 191(2) (a), punishable with a fine of $81. Stealing these vehicles is a crime of opportunity.

Residents need to ensure they protect themselves and their property and never assume that thieves are not active in the early morning hours, no matter where they live.

For more information, visit the Auto Crime section of the Surrey RCMP’s website.