Protect Your Vehicle and Prevent Theft – A Reminder on Warming Up Cars in Cold Weather

As the winter chill sets in, The LaSalle Police Service urges residents to exercise caution and avoid leaving their cars running unattended to warm up. Despite the temptation to warm up the vehicle while waiting inside, this practice significantly increases the risk of opportunistic vehicle thefts.

Leaving your car unattended with the engine running provides an open invitation for thieves to take advantage of the situation. Unfortunately, every winter season sees an increase in vehicle thefts related to cars left running, even if it’s just for a few minutes.

On Wednesday, January 18th, at 7:00 am, The LaSalle Police Service received a report of a vehicle that was stolen from a driveway in the 1200 block of Outram Avenue after it was left running to warm up while the owner was inside. The theft occurred within minutes of starting the vehicle. The stolen vehicle is a red, 2010 Hyundai Accent bearing Ontario licence plate CPWX 844. Case#24-422.

There have been numerous recent reports of vehicle thefts of this nature across Windsor and Essex County which have been broadcast in the media.

LaSalle Police urges anyone with information related to these thefts to come forward and assist with the ongoing investigation. If you have any information, please contact the LaSalle Police Service at 519-969–5210. Anonymous tips can be submitted to Crime Stoppers at 519-258-8477 or online at www.catchcrooks.com.

To protect your vehicle and reduce the likelihood of theft, we recommend the following:

1. **Stay with Your Vehicle:** If you need to warm up your car, remain with it while the engine is running. This simple step can deter potential thieves.

2. **Use a Remote Starter:** Consider investing in a remote starter system, allowing you to start your car from the comfort of your home while keeping it securely locked.

3. **Install a Steering Wheel Lock:** A visible deterrent like a steering wheel lock can discourage thieves and make it more difficult for them to steal your vehicle. Beware that these types of devices may be easily defeated by a determined or savvy thief.

4. **Park in Well-Lit Areas:** When possible, park in well-lit and populated areas, reducing the likelihood of theft.

5. **Be Vigilant and Report Suspicious Activity:** Keep an eye out for any suspicious activity in your neighbourhood and report it promptly to local law enforcement.

6. **Install video surveillance cameras around your property as a crime deterrent and as a means to assist in any investigations.

The LaSalle Police Service is committed to ensuring the safety and security of our community. By following these simple precautions, residents can actively contribute to reducing vehicle thefts during the winter months.