Law enforcement talk about risks of puffing


Colorado Springs and Pueblo top the list of cities where auto theft happens the most in Colorado.  

A survey done by Coloradans Against Auto Theft found 60 percent of people believe puffing is a top way cars are stolen, but still, 31 percent admit they puff anyway.  

On cold Colorado mornings it’s not fun getting in a cold car but leaving that car running and walking away is illegal.

In 2018 Colorado Springs Police had more than 170 reports of cars that were stolen while puffing and Lt. Howard Black said sometimes people don’t admit it.  

“These are 100 percent preventable,” said Lt. Black with the Colorado Springs Police Department. “Especially if you have pets or a child in that car. We had two incidents last year where cars were left running inside of businesses and there were actually kiddos in the back seat of those cars.” 

That’s not the worst of it, stolen cars are typically used to commit other crimes.  

“Your car can now become that tool for a bandit that’s getting ready to commit a robbery or a homicide,” said Lt. Black.  

Because it’s puffer week law enforcement all across Colorado are taking action to encourage people to never leave their car running, like the messages on the signs along Platte Avenue in Colorado Springs.  

“Our resources are so limited for us to actually put out patrols looking for a puffing, that’s not going to be occurring,” said Lt. Black.  

They are looking for voluntary compliance, but say if an officer does come across a puffing car they can take action.   

“Take a blanket, take a cup of coffee, stay in the car and warm up with it,” said John Henry, with Coloradans Against Auto Theft. 

If all else fails Henry suggests getting a remote start, it will keep your car locked and warming. You can get them installed even if your car didn’t come with one. With some brands, if someone still breaks in, as soon as they hit the brakes the engine will shut off.    

Puffing is not just risky it’s expensive. Law enforcement will ticket drivers who are puffing with the first offense costing $60 in Colorado Springs and $75 in Pueblo.    

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