Feb 12, 2018
Nno one likes climbing into a bone-chilling cold car, but warming up a vehicle while leaving it running unattended – “puffing” – is a golden invitation to car thieves. The proof? In Denver, 185 “puffers” were stolen between November 1, 2017, and January 31, 2018!
Surveillance video of a “puffer” being stolen is available here. This incident occurred in the area of N. Ceylon Way and 48th Place in Green Valley Ranch at about 7:00 a.m. on February 7, 2018. The stolen vehicle has not been recovered and the case remains open at this time.
The Denver Police Department is asking for residents’ help in applying the brakes to this car theft trend by simply remaining in their car while it’s idling and warming to a good operating temperature.
And good habits for preventing car theft year-round are:
Besides increasing the risk of thieves stealing a car, “puffing” can also result in a citation, even if the vehicle is equipped with a remote start system.
The Denver Municipal Ordinance relevant to “puffing” was enacted to address air quality issues and states:
Sec. 4-43. - Idling restriction.
(a) No person shall allow a vehicle to idle for more than five (5) minutes in any one-hour period unless:
(1) The ambient outside air temperature has been less than twenty (20) degrees Fahrenheit for each hour of the previous twenty-four (24) hour period; or
(2) The latest hourly ambient outside air temperature is less than ten (10) degrees Fahrenheit.
(b) The idling restriction in subsection (a) shall not apply to emergency vehicles; to vehicles engaged in traffic control operations; to vehicles which are being serviced; to vehicles that must idle to operate auxiliary equipment, including but not limited to pumps, compressors or refrigeration units; or to vehicles en route to a destination that are stopped by traffic congestion.
(c) The idling restriction in subsection (a) applies to transportation vehicles, as defined in this subsection, except that the time during which transportation vehicles are actively loading or discharging passengers may not be included in the computation of the five (5) minutes provided for in subsection 4-43(a). A transportation vehicle shall be defined for purposes of this section to mean motor vehicles designed to transport a minimum of sixteen (16) persons.
(Ord. No. 330-90, 6-4-90; Ord. No. 683-08, § 15, 12-8-08)
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