The Helena Police Department want people to be aware of the potential theft risks involved when warming up a car in cold weather.

The Police Department 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.

Story continues below

According to the police department, since August 1 there have been 57 vehicle thefts in Helena.

Helena Police Department Captain Curt Stinson says that criminals tend to be opportunistic and limiting their access any way 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.

Law Enforcement also encourages people to check on and lock up any sheds or other storage buildings.

The police department has responded to multiple shed thefts this since the beginning of 2018.