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Operation Cold Start concludes; drivers reminded to take steps to freeze out thieves


Members of the Lethbridge Police Service located 138 vehicles left idling and unattended during Operation Cold Start.

The week-long initiative, organized by the Alberta Association of Chiefs of Police, involved a province-wide awareness campaign aimed at preventing vehicle theft.

Warm-up thefts are crimes of opportunity, where thieves target vehicles that are left running and unattended.

Each morning this week officers patrolled different areas of the city in search of idling vehicles left unlocked and unattended. Police spoke to approximately two dozen drivers, reminding them to stay with their vehicle while it’s warming up or ensure it’s locked. In cases where the driver wasn’t nearby, police left a pamphlet on the vehicle highlighting theft prevention tips.

With the current cold snap – and more wintery weather to come before the spring thaw – motorists are reminded to take steps to safeguard their vehicle and reduce the risk of theft.

  • Never leave a running vehicle unattended if the keys are inside
  • Use a remote starter whenever possible and keep your vehicle locked
  • If you are warming up your vehicle with the keys in the ignition or with a push button start, stay with your vehicle
  • Use a steering wheel lock as a deterrent
  • Never leave spare keys or garage door openers in or around your vehicle
  • Never leave children or pets inside a running vehicle
  • Do not leave valuables, including identity documents and bank cards, in your vehicle
  • Be aware of your surroundings and report suspicious activity to police immediately
  • If you observe a crime in progress call 911

During the 2022 Operation Cold Start campaign, LPS located 50 idling vehicles.


Lethbridge Police Service
135 1 Avenue South
Lethbridge, Alberta T1J 0A1

Non-Emergency Phone: 403-328-4444
General Inquiries Phone: 403-327-2210
Email: General Inquiries
(not monitored 24/7)

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