The Colorado State Patrol says that some common cold-weather habits can increase the risk of motor vehicle theft.
Here are some tips to avoid some of the habits that give thieves the opportunity to steal vehicles.
It’s easy to want to warm up a vehicle before getting inside, but know that puffer vehicles are not only illegal in Colorado, but they are at greater risk of theft.
Puffer vehicles are those that are started and left unattended to warm up before a driver or passenger enters. This habit makes it easier for thieves to simply hop in the vehicle and drive away.
CSP recommends warming up your vehicle while scraping snow and ice off of the car, or remaining inside the vehicle while it warms up to decrease the risk of theft.
Besides, puffing is illegal and can result in fines, with the exception of vehicles with immobilizing remote start systems.
Be mindful while traveling
With cold weather comes the holiday season, which means traveling to see family and friends for many people. CSP said travel can increase the risk of vehicle theft.
This especially applies to long-term parking lots, which CSP describes as a “shopping ground for thieves” as vehicles that are unattended for long periods become easy targets. The same applies to cars left on the side of the road or those parked in driveways.
CSP said leaving your vehicle at home is a safer option, especially if it is secured in a garage. Otherwise, if you must leave a vehicle outside while you are away, CSP recommends taking basic theft precautions like locking the car, installing alarms, removing keys from the car and using steering wheel locks.
Immobilizing the vehicle can also help prevent theft. This can be done by using pedal locks, shift locks, parking boots or disconnecting the battery. Visible immobilizers can serve as a great deterrent to a would-be thief, CSP said.
Hide groceries and gifts
Gift-giving season is just around the metaphorical corner, which means thieves may target vehicles not just for the car itself, but for what’s inside.
Gifts, shopping bags and loose change can serve as visible incentives for thieves. CSP recommends keeping your vehicle tidy and removing gifts, shopping bags, valuable items or anything that might appear to be valuable.
“Thieves hate clean cars, so taking everything out of the car and keeping it clean helps prevent MVT (motor vehicle theft),” CSP said.
Prepare for snowstorm to affect roads
Aside from theft danger, traveling during winter weather conditions can be dangerous. With the snow coming this weekend, the Colorado Department of Transportation is warning drivers about potentially hazardous road conditions.
Denver, Colorado weather resources
Stay prepared for storms and forecast changes, a Pinpoint Weather Alert Day and other important weather information:
- Interactive Denver weather radar
- Colorado weather alerts
- Business, church and school closings
- Weather newsletters
- FOX31 News app
The Pinpoint Weather team will continue to update the forecast multiple times each day.