Have You Heard of Puffing? Colorado Police Want You To Stop Doing It
It's time to quit puffing — and no, we're not talking about smoking (but you should probably quit that too).
According to a Facebook post from the Greeley Police Department (GPD), puffing is the act of leaving your car unattended and running with your key in the ignition and no anti-theft device. It's a common practice in colder weather and illegal in Colorado.
But why? Let's break it down.
The reason why puffing is illegal in Colorado
While leaving your vehicle running to warm up or because you forgot something inside seems innocuous, it actually puts you at risk for auto theft.
GPD reports that Colorado sees around 4,000 auto thefts monthly and up to $848 million in theft damages annually. The agency noted that, in Greeley, puffer thefts increased by 447% from October 2021 to January 2022.
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"In case you forgot, Colorado is #1 in the nation in auto thefts. [Stolen] vehicles are often used in the commission of additional crimes," said GPD in the post. "Help us to help you. Please don't puff. These unattended vehicle thefts take literal seconds."
What really counts as puffing your vehicle?
The definition of puffing is fairly straightforward, but GPD says that people still find room for error.
It's important to remember that leaving your car running, even if you locked the doors or are leaving it for a "quick" trip, is still considered puffing and illegal.
"Yes, we have officers out warning and, if necessary, ticketing owners of puffing vehicles," said GPD. According to enginesoff.com, puffing fines can reach up to $100.
However, you are allowed to autostart your car and leave it unattended if you have anti-theft devices like steering wheel and pedal locks.
Learn more about Colorado's lesser-known laws in the gallery below.