Alberta RCMP and law enforcement partners launch Operation Cold Start

by Staff

With temperatures dropping throughout Alberta this week, Alberta RCMP is partnering with their law enforcement partners across the province to launch Operation Cold Start, an initiative designed to reduce the theft of idling vehicles during the winter months.

Law enforcement agencies will take part in a number of tasks between Jan. 8 and 12 to help keep vehicles safe, including checking on unattended and idling vehicles to see if the keys are in them and whether or not they are properly secured. Educational efforts will also be part of the weeklong initiative to help teach the public on how  to keep their property safe.

“Warming up your vehicle briefly before your commute might seem convenient, but this convenience can turn into a serious problem when your vehicle is stolen. Vehicle-related crimes often occur due to opportunistic situations,” said Corporal Mike Fulton of the Alberta RCMP’s Community Safety and Well-being Branch in a media release Mondahy. “In 2021, 8.3% of vehicles stolen in Alberta RCMP jurisdiction were left idling. The goal of Operation Cold Start is to reduce crime by educating Albertans on steps they can take to help keep their property safe.”

RCMP say that not only do vehicle thefts impact the vehicle owner, but the broader community as well through higher insurance premiums provincewide. Additionally, stolen vehicles play a role in other crimes.

The Alberta RCMP offers the following tips for vehicle safety:

  • If you can’t park in a garage or driveway, ensure that you’re parking in a visible well lit area.
  • Visible anti-theft devices like steering wheel locks can help mitigate vehicle thefts and break-ins.
  • If possible, look into automatic car starters as an option to warm your vehicle.
  • Never leave your vehicle unattended if the keys are in it.
  • Always lock your vehicles doors even if you’re parked in a drive way or garage.
  • Never leave valuable items like wallets, keys, purses, or even change visible in an unoccupied vehicle.
  • Most modern engines do not require a ‘warm-up’ period. If your vehicle does need to warm-up, do not leave it unattended.
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