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Staffordshire: Car crime warning

September 24, 2012, 10:33 am

Motorists are being urged to thwart thieves by safeguarding their cars following a spate of thefts in the Cobridge and Sneyd Green areas of Stoke-on-Trent.

Offenders have been targeting unlocked vehicles by trying door handles and then stealing valuables including sat navs.

There have been nine thefts since the start of August in streets including Crossway Road, Stanway Avenue, Maylea Crescent, Dairyfields Way, Bethell Road and Barnfield Road.

Officers from Stoke-on-Trent North Local Policing Team have increased patrols in the area and are urging residents to heed the following advice:

Remove all valuables

Thieves are far more likely to steal from vehicles than they are to take the vehicles themselves. Many criminals take advantage of the opportunities they see – if they go past a car and see a mobile phone on the seat, theyll break in and take it. If the vehicle looks empty, they are far more likely to leave it alone.

Dont give criminals an easy ride – if at all possible take your valuables with you. If this really isnt possible, it may be worth buying a vehicle boot safe to put items in.

Lock doors and close windows

If your vehicle is not locked or the windows open, its like leaving a welcome mat to a thief. However tempting it is ā€“ especially in hot weather or when youre in a hurry ā€“ always secure your vehicle.

This applies even if youre just going to the cash point or to pay for petrol ā€“ it can still be long enough for a thief to take your vehicle or any possessions left inside.

Dont leave your vehicle with the keys in the ignition at any time, including when youre loading or unloading shopping or baggage. And leaving the engine running to ‘warm up’ during the winter months not only risks having the vehicle stolen, its against the law. Drivers should always be in control of their vehicles when the engine is running.

When leaving your vehicle, dont forget to check windows are firmly closed and all doors, including the boot, are locked. If you have an alarm and/or immobiliser, use them.

Otherwise consider having them fitted.

Park in a safe place

If you can, dont park in an unattended car park, choose somewhere that is light and where members of the public regularly pass. Look to see if there are many escape routes as thieves will also find these attractive.

Anyone with information about vehicle crime should ring Staffordshire Police on 101. Alternatively, they can ring independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, onĀ 0800 555 111.

Contact Crimestoppers anonymously with information about crime

101 – The police non-emergency number

101 is the number to call when you want to contact your local police in England, Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland – when it’s less urgent than a 999 call.
Find out more information about 101 by following this link.

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