Auto thefts rise as temperature drop

Prince George RCMP are urging motorists to refrain from leaving their vehicles running with the keys in the ignition as the deep freeze has led to a spike in auto theft.

Three such thefts were reported on Monday. RCMP are calling them crimes of opportunity.

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"When you are cold, thieves are cold too," RCMP said. "So when you leave your car running with the keys in the ignition while you wait inside your warm home, thieves are more than happy to hop in your vehicle and steal it.

"Saves them walking, in the cold, to their destination. More than likely, the thief was not specifically looking for a car to steal, the opportunity just presented itself."

Car and truck owners are urged to either stay in their vehicles as they warm up or install remote starters.

"Being cold for a few minutes may save your vehicle from being stolen by an opportunistic thief," RCMP said and added that leaving an insecure vehicle running and unattended is a violation of the Motor Vehicle Act.

"Therefore, if your vehicle is stolen as a result of the keys being left in it, your insurance may be deemed void and the insurer may not cover the loss," RCMP said.

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