The Helena Police Department wants people to be aware of the potential theft risks involved when warming up a car in cold weather.
HPD says that in the winter, unattended running cars and open garages can be easy targets for criminals.
Thieves will quickly grab anything of value or drive off with the vehicle if the door isn’t locked.
According to the police department, since August 1 there have been 57 vehicle thefts in Helena.
HPD Captain Curt Stinson says that criminals tend to be opportunistic and limiting their access anyway you can is key.
“We still caution people to lock their doors,” says Stinson, “Some people say “I don’t want to lock it because they’ll break my window out.” It’s always possible but more times than not it’s opportunity.”
Stinson added that having a second key for your vehicle so that it can be locked when warming up is a good option.
Officers also encourage people to check on and lock up any sheds or other storage buildings.
HPD has responded to numerous shed thefts this since the beginning of 2018.