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Region gears up for Operation Cold Start

Last Updated Jan 13, 2023 at 10:31 am MDT

Wood Buffalo RCMP is encouraging the region to participate in "Operation Cold Start", the province-wide initiative aiming to reduce cases of auto-theft during the winter months. Image supplied by Wood Buffalo RCMP.

Wood Buffalo RCMP is encouraging the community to participate in “Operation: Cold Start”.

The auto-theft prevention initiative runs from Jan. 23-27, and reminds residents about the perils of leaving vehicles running, while unattended.

“Approximately 50 per cent of vehicles stolen in Alberta are stolen while the vehicle is running and approximately 50 per cent of those vehicles had the keys in them.”

RCMP say those thefts are more prevalent during the winter months.

Vehicles also shouldn’t be left unlocked, as police say thieves are known to watch for vehicles left running while the driver ducks into a gas station, coffee shop, or even their home to quickly get a wallet or phone.

Wood Buffalo RCMP provided some tips to help prevent vehicular thefts:

  • Use a remote starter or stay with your vehicle as it warms up
  • Never leave your keys inside your vehicle
  • Keep your vehicle locked at all times
  • Don’t leave your vehicle unattended if it is running or the keys are in it
  • Use a steering wheel lock
  • Never leave children or pets in an unsecure, running vehicle
  • Remove garage door openers from your vehicle


Operation Cold Start is sponsored by the Alberta Association of Chiefs of Police.