Unlocked, running cars could result in fine, say Abbotsford Police

A series of vehicle thefts and items stolen from vehicles has prompted Abbotsford Police to issue a warning.

A series of vehicle thefts in Abbotsford has prompted police to enforce a section of the Motor Vehicle Act (MVA) that requires drivers to secure their cars.

Const. Ian MacDonald said police will be issuing tickets to drivers who leave their cars unlocked and their engines running. The fine is $81.

MacDonald said that since early December police have received an increased number of reports about items being stolen from cars that were left unlocked and unattended with the engine running.

Vehicles were stolen in several cases, as were other valuables such as wallets, purses and electronics.

MacDonald said such thefts pose a public safety risk.

“These theft suspects may become involved in an altercation with the driver or witnesses, or worse, collide with someone while hastily fleeing in the stolen vehicle.”

As part of police’s role in maintaining public safety, he said officers will enforce section 191(2) of the MVA which reads “a driver must not permit a motor vehicle to stand unattended or parked unless the driver has locked it or made it secure in a manner that prevents its unauthorized use.”

MacDonald said the Abbotsford Police Department is also continuing its Operation Lock Out campaign, which began last year. The program provides limited numbers of anti-theft devices available free of charge to Abbotsford residents who own pre-2001 Honda Civics/Accords, pre-2004 Dodge pickups, and pre-2005 Ford pickups.

Registered owners can bring their documents to the Abbotsford Community Policing office at #5 – 34194 Marshall Rd.