Ways to prevent vehicle thefts highlighted after police chopper footage shows suspect take downs

How to stop thieves from stealing your vehicle was top of mind for Winnipeg police Sunday, after two suspects were arrested over the holidays.

Both take downs were caught on video Dec. 30 with the help of the police helicopter, Air1.

Police said one pursuit took place after a vehicle was stolen when it was left running.

Police said the other pursuit took place after a suspect broke into vehicle and found keys for the owners other car inside.

Const. Jay Murray said because of changes in technology, it’s harder to steal vehicles than it used to be, but motorists not being cognizant of keys is a significant issue.

He said two of the most common ways to steal a vehicle are preventable, leaving it running and unattended, or off but with keys still inside.

Once taken, a theft can create even bigger problems.

“All it takes is one person that finds it too cold or a thief or someone that wants to get somewhere and take it for a ride,” said Murray.

“Not only are you dealing with the headache of not knowing where your vehicle is and maybe damages or being driven hard, but it’s a situation like this that can put members of the public at risk or officers as well,” he added.

CAA Manitoba’s Erika Miller said if you want to warm up your vehicle, driving it creates a warmer cabin then to have it running.

Miller and police both recommend motorists use a remote starter to help heat up a vehicle with the doors still locked instead of leaving it unattended.

“It’s really useful if you want to start your car up, you can just click on your fob and your car starts and it’s something you can do in an apartment, a condo or a house,” she said.

Winnipeg police said carjackings are the least common of the three main ways vehicles are stolen.

They say if you ever find yourself in a situation where someone is trying to take your vehicle, do your best to get to safety and call 911.