A car stolen in the past week from a residential driveway after it was left idling to warm up has Kamloops Mounties warning drivers to not leave vehicles running and unattended.
This theft is the only report of a running, unlocked vehicle being stolen Kamloops RCMP have received this month, Cpl. Jodi Shelkie told KTW.
During the colder months, however, police tend to see more of these type of thefts occurring as residents warm up their vehicles or leave them running as they pop into a store to make a quick purchase.
“The inconvenience of having your car stolen is one factor, but this is also a situation where these vehicles can be used in other crimes, hit and runs and potential break and enters,” Shelkie said.
Personal information and garage door openers can often be found in a vehicle, which Shelkie warned can give thieves access to homes.
According to section 191 of the B.C. Motor Vehicle Act, “a motor vehicle must be equipped with a lock or other device to prevent the unauthorized use of the motor vehicle” and “a driver must not permit a motor vehicle to stand unattended or parked unless the driver has locked it or made it secure in a manner that prevents its unauthorized use.”
Those contravening that section of the law — which appears to refer to vehicles unlocked and not running — face a fine of $81.
Shelkie said the owner of the stolen vehicle wasn’t fined, but noted police may take enforcement action if they see more vehicles idling and unlocked.
Meanwhile police are also reminding motorists that they must clear their windows of all ice and snow before driving onto city streets or highways as per the Motor Vehicle Act, which states drivers must have an unobstructed, clear view.
“Clearing your windshield is a matter of safety,” Shelkie said. “Not being able to clearly see where you are driving or if there are pedestrians on the road could result in injury or death.”