Don’t let your warm car become a hot car

by Lou Malbeuf,
Special to -

I’m excited to have this opportunity to reach out to our community with topics that are a concern to us.

I’ll start out by introducing myself. My name is Lou Malbeuf and I’ve been a member of the York Regional Police for the last 28 years. I am the Detective Sergeant of the Auto Cargo Theft Unit.

Our unit consists of 11 investigators who investigate organized auto theft rings. Our mandate also consists of investigating tractor trailer and heavy equipment thefts. We also like to be pro-active and reach out to our stakeholders in the community and give presentations on crime prevention. We recognize how important it is to be involved in partnership with our community as they valuable in helping us in solve crimes.

In my blog, I’ll not only give you the police officer’s perspective, but also comment on the reader’s point of view.

My first topic is timely as we are leaving the warm weather behind. Every year, York Regional Police investigates vehicle warm-up thefts throughout York Region during the winter months. So we are reminding residents to be vigilant, and that this is a crime of opportunity that can be avoided.

Already this season, York Regional Police has responded to several stolen vehicle incidents where cold weather has prompted drivers to warm up their vehicle while leaving it unattended. Criminals see an opportunity and seize the moment, simply driving off in the vehicle.

The York Regional Police Auto Cargo Theft Unit reminds all drivers that if you must warm up your car, don’t leave it unattended unless your vehicle is equipped with a keyless remote starter. Otherwise, remain in your car or lock it and keep a spare key with you.

Police are also reminding vehicle owners that if the keys are left in the ignition, immobilizers will not work.

Do not leave vehicles running and unattended at gas stations, convenience stores, bank machines or any other premises, even if it’s just for a few minutes. Thieves are waiting for you to make that very mistake.

While you are at home, keep keys out of sight, not near the door or hanging on a hook near the door. This is the perfect opportunity for a thief.
Crime prevention is the responsibility of both the public and the police, and warm-up thefts can easily be prevented.

Don’t let your warm car become a hot car.

For more information contact Detective Sergeant Lou Malbeuf of the York Regional Police Auto/Cargo Theft Unit at 1-866-876-5423, ext. 6698 or

To visit YRP on YouTube:

Citizens are encouraged to use the Crime Prevention Map on to stay on top of crime trends and proactive policing activities in their neighborhoods.

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