Police warn against ‘puffing' as temperatures drop

Posted at 6:52 AM, Dec 07, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-07 22:40:14-05

DENVER -- Colorado law enforcement officials are warning drivers to not leave their cars running unattended to warm them up.

“Puffing” is common on frigid Colorado winter mornings, but can leave the driver with a ticket because the practice makes cars vulnerable to theft. Drivers who have remote-start systems are exempt from the law, except if the vehicle has been idling for longer than 5 minutes. Any vehicle that has been idling for more than 5 minutes, whether on public or private property, is subject to citation, according to Denver police officials.

"The only time everyone is exempt from the puffer law, is if the temperature has been below 20 degrees Fahrenheit for the last 24 hours or if the temperature has been below 10 degrees Fahrenheit for the last hour," police said on a Facebook post.

 More than 50 tickets are issued to puffers each year. 

A puffer in Castle Pines learned the hard way after his Truck was stolen at a 7-Eleven Tuesday night. The suspect led deputies on a chase through a residential neighborhood, where he was eventually caught. 

A puffer vehicle was also the target of a thief in Arvada. Police are looking for a man who took off with a Ford F-250 truck left running in front of the owner's home Wednesday morning. The owner jumped in the back of the truck as the thief was driving away, but the victim was able to jump out. It's unclear if the owner was injured.


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