Two cars have been stolen this week in the early hours of the morning as their owners left them idling to warm up and defrost in the depths of Canberra's winter.
Police have warned car owners against the practice, which is a common occurrence in Canberra's winter.
This week's thefts brings to seven the numbers of cars stolen with their engines running since June 1 this year. Six of these incidents happened on a weekday morning with the Ngunnawal theft occurring around 7am on Tuesday.
The incidents were reported from Bonner, Coombs, Dunlop, Holt, Kingston, Ngunnawal, and Throsby.
Two of the vehicles stolen were Holden Commodores, the others were a Hyundai i40, a Mazda 3, an Audi sedan, a Peugeot convertible, and a Toyota Yaris.
Last winter, seven cars were stolen in one week - mostly across the southside of Canberra - as owners left them idling to defrost for just a few minutes.
In one instance, the owner started her car in the driveway, went inside to grab her child to put in the car seat only to return a minute later and find the car gone.
In July 2019, three cars were stolen in just one hour, two in Tuggeranong and one in Jerrabomberra, as the cars warmed up in owners' driveways during the early morning.
Police suspect that car thieves are well aware of Canberrans' winter warm-up practice and drive the suburbs during the early hours, waiting to pounce.
Police have warned against the practice, advising people to allow a little extra time in the mornings to ensure frost is cleared from your vehicle before driving off, and to never leave a vehicle unattended with the engine running.
Modern "rolling code" engine immobilisers and remote-operated key fobs have greatly reduced the vulnerability of new vehicles to traditional ignition "hot-wiring," however, car thieves have adapted their techniques and now directly target the owners' key fobs, which provide complete access to the car's security system.
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