There’s a thick layer of frost on your windshield. You start your car and then go back inside to give it time to heat up and defrost. Later, you walk out to find your car gone. You're a victim of a 'puffer' theft.
'Puffers' are auto thieves' term for vehicles left unattended with the motor running, and is a huge problem in the metro area – including Northglenn. The Police Department spends hundreds of hours each year investigating motor vehicle thefts.
"Driving in a cold car can be uncomfortable, but it's much better than having to call 911 because your car has been stolen," said Police Chief Jim May.
Other serious consequences of having your car stolen include:
- It could be used in other criminal activity.
- It could be involved in a serious traffic accident, injuring innocent victims.
- The thieves could gain access to your home with the car keys and/or garage door opener.
- The thieves could commit identity fraud with documents left in the vehicle.
- Your car insurance rates could go up.
- Leaving your car running and unattended is illegal, and you could be subject to a fine.
One option is to have a remote starter, where the keys aren't in the car when it is warming up.
• Take keys out of your vehicle’s ignition when you are not using it.
• Stay with your car when warming it up during cold weather.
• Bring your keys when running into a convenience store.
• Bring your keys when dropping your children off at day care.
• Never leave your keys in your car while refueling.