Vehicles left running in driveways at risk of ‘warm-up’ thefts, police say after car stolen in Brampton

As frigid temperatures linger in the Greater Toronto Area, police are reminding drivers of the risk of so-called “warm-up” thefts of vehicles left running unattended.

Peel Regional Police say a woman reported her idling vehicle stolen from outside a home in the area of Williams Parkway and James Potter Road in Brampton early Thursday morning.

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“She was just in her residence for a brief moment,” said Peel police Const. Bancroft Wright. “When she came out, the car was gone.”

Unattended vehicles warming up are easy targets for thieves

Car thieves go into neighbourhoods looking for opportunities, with the early morning being a prime time to spot unattended running vehicles, Wright explained.

“It doesn’t take much for an individual to walk by and take a glance and if they see the opportunity with keys in the ignition, that’s their jackpot for the day,” he said.

York Regional Police Const. Laura Nicolle said officers were investigating a report of a similar theft in Vaughan.

Winnipeg police warn drivers not to leave cars running

York Region experienced quite a few warm-up style thefts last year, she said, but so far there have only been a handful as temperatures only recently started to drop significantly.

She said police are trying to discourage drivers from making their vehicles an “easy target.”

“If you think about what your vehicle is worth, would you leave that money in a stack just sitting at the end of the driveway and hope for the best?”

— With files from Don Mitchell

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