Suspect in 'warm-up thefts' sought by police

Calgarians are being asked to help locate a man wanted on warrants in relation to "warm-up thefts," police said in a Thursday press release.

A warm-up theft is when a vehicle is stolen after being left running and unattended in the cold.

Members of the Calgary Police Service Auto Theft Team arrested two suspects in relation to warm-up thefts on Tuesday, after police said they noticed three stolen vehicles parked together.

However, police say a third suspect has not been arrested.

Patrick William Cameron, 25, is described as five feet eight inches tall and 125 pounds with black hair and brown eyes. 

He is wanted on 24 warrants that include:

  • Possession of stolen property
  • Failing to attend court
  • Failing to comply with conditions of release
  • Driving while prohibited

Anyone with information about Cameron's whereabouts is encouraged to contact the Calgary Police Service by calling 403-266-1234. 

'Warm-up thefts' preventable, police say

Calgary Police Service

In 2016, Calgary police began an initiative called Operation Cold Start that is intended to educate the public on the dangers of leaving their cars running.

It involves officers patrolling communities for cars left running in colder months, and then explaining the risks of theft to the drivers.

Police describe the auto-thefts as "preventable" crimes that lead to a spike in stolen vehicle reports and erratic driving that can endanger the public.

To prevent warm-up thefts, police say that Calgarians should:

  • Never leave a running vehicle unattended, if the keys are inside the vehicle or if the vehicle has been started with a keyless ignition or push-button start.
  • Use a remote starter whenever possible and keep your vehicle locked.
  • Use a steering wheel lock to deter thieves.
  • Never leave spare keys or garage door openers in or around your vehicle.
  • Never leave children or pets in a running vehicle.
  • Do not leave valuables, including identity documents and bank cards, in a vehicle.
  • Report suspicious activity to police immediately.