If you live in Weld County, beware that vehicle thefts are up this year.

According to the Weld County Sheriff's Office, a total of 130 vehicles have been reported stolen out of Greeley so far this year. Eight were farm or construction vehicles, 15 were motorcycles, 20 were passenger cars, 68 were pickups, 15 were SUVs and four were vans.

Of those vehicles, 57 of them were reportedly unlocked, with the key in the car, at the time they were taken.

With that being said, as the weather gets colder, the Weld County Sheriff's Office is reminding residents to avoid "puffing," or leaving vehicles on and unattended to warm up in the morning.

Puffing gives thieves an easy opportunity to steal vehicles, which can sometimes be right from a person's driveway.

The Sheriff's Office saw their first puffer-related theft of the season on November 15 and expect to see an uptick in auto thefts due to puffers in the coming months.

Not only does puffing put a person's car at risk of being stolen, but it's also a Class B traffic infraction, punishable with an $100 fine to the vehicle's owner. According to police, the only exception to this law, are vehicles equipped with a remote ignition system.

In order to prevent auto theft this winter, the sheriff's office is asking residents to do things like grab a cup of coffee and stay in the car while it warms up, or scrape the windshields and windows so it's not left unattended while defrosting. In addition, they warn residents to keep their cars locked and to always take the key with them.

According to the WCSO, 91 of the stolen vehicles from 2020 have since been recovered by law enforcement.

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