There has been a dramatic 13-per-cent jump in auto thefts in 2015, Edmonton police say.
As of Dec. 28, 3,924 vehicles were reported stolen in Edmonton, according to statistics provided by police. During that same period last year 3,457 thefts were reported.
On average, 327 vehicles were stolen each month this year.
Sgt. Steve Sharpe says curbing auto thefts comes down to common sense.
Some motorists "leave their car running this time of year. They go into a convenience store and leave their car running, and unlocked."
During winter months, many drivers want to keep their vehicles running to stay warm, but Sharpe says they'd be better off investing in a car starter.
Leaving spare keys in a vehicle is not a good idea. Always lock your vehicle, take your keys and park in a secure area, he says.
Police reported 83 autos were stolen between Dec. 21-27 in 10 Edmonton neighbourhoods, and they are as follows:
- High Park
- Bonaventure Industrial
- Bonnie Doon
- Kiniski Gardens
- McConachie area
And car thefts tend to go up in January, Sharpe says, because of frigid temperatures.
Drivers can lower the temptation for thieves by removing all valuables from their vehicles.
Sharpe recommends drivers keep valuables "out of sight, out of crime."