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Grande Prairie RCMP reminding public not to leave vehicles running unattended

Despite the weather outside being frightful, the Grande Prairie RCMP is reminding residents to not get complacent when it comes to warming up their vehicles, or they may run the risk of having a holiday surprise no one wants.

Constable Lindsay Ralph says as the cold weather continues in the Grande Prairie region, it’s tempting to turn your vehicle on to get warmed up. However, she says most car thefts are crimes of opportunity, and it doesn’t take very long for that opportunity to get exploited.

“Even if your vehicle is locked, [they can] break the window, get inside and drive away with your vehicle, along with all your belongings inside,” she says.

“It’s best to stay with your vehicle, bundle yourself up and wait for it to warm up, or if you can get a vehicle starter, that could help, but never leave your vehicle unattended to avoid your vehicle getting stolen,” she adds.

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According to the RCMP, there were 33 reports of theft of a motor vehicle in the city during the month of November, up from 24 from the same time period in 2020. Ralph says while it’s most likely to happen in or around your home, those warming up vehicles need to remain cognizant wherever they are, as the same principles apply at just about any location you can park a vehicle.

“It can happen not only in your driveway, but any store you stop at, or any time you get out of your vehicle quickly to grab something, you never know who will take that opportunity.”

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