Police warn people to beware of car thieves

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A CRACKDOWN has been launched on vehicle crime in rural areas.

It comes as several car parks at beauty spots in Winchester and East Hampshire districts have become hot spots for theft.

Hampshire police say crooks will usually smash windows to gain entry.

Sometimes they will break door locks or, on older vehicles, prise the door away from the body of the car.

Earlier this month in Petersfield, officers handed out rucksacks so that people can store valuables in the bag while they enjoy the countryside, rather than leave items in the car.

Posters have also been put up in car parks and motorists have been offered signs to leave on their dashboard, informing would-be thieves that there are no valuables inside.

Inspector Rachel Upfold, from Hampshire Constabulary, said: ‘The simple advice to motorists is, when leaving your car, close all windows, lock your doors and remove all valuable items. Victims are left shocked and upset.’