Warning by police as thieves target unlocked cars in Gosport

Car thieves are no longer having to smash windows as many motorists in Gosport are leaving their cars unlocked
Car thieves are no longer having to smash windows as many motorists in Gosport are leaving their cars unlocked
Louis Makai. Picture: Sussex Police

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  • People warned to lock it or lose it as thieves continue to target unlocked cars
  • More than 50 vehicles have been targeted since December 1
  • Councillors and police are urging people to lock their cars
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LOCK your cars or risk having your possessions taken.

That is the warning from police and councillors in Gosport as thefts from cars continue in the town.

Since December 1, more than 50 crimes of theft from a vehicle have been reported with the majority of the vehicles left unlocked.

Police say they are continuing to promote their message of Lock It or Lose It and are also conducting patrols when it is dark in order to try to catch the thieves.

Councillor Peter Chegwyn, whose ward Leesland is one of areas targeted most often, said: ‘It amazes me that people leave their cars unlocked when there is so much crime.

‘They might as well be leaving their doors wide open.

It amazes me that people leave their cars unlocked when there is so much crime.

Cllr Peter Chegwyn

‘The message is so simple and sensible and yet people don’t seem to be listening. People must be crazy to leave their cars unlocked at night.

‘The message is all about protecting your own property – the police cannot be everywhere at once.’

Sergeant Lesley Meenaghan, from the Gosport policing team, said people trying car door handles is the most common way for break-ins to happen.

Cllr Chegywn agrees. He says he has spotted people trying door handles looking for an easy way in.

He added: ‘People aren’t breaking glass like they used to in the past. They just try door handles and keep going until they get lucky.’

Between December 1 and January 4, 48 crimes had been committed but that number has since risen above 50.

As reported in The News, petty crime in Gosport started to increase in October.

From October 1 to November 11, 170 crimes were reported which included criminal damage, theft of or theft from a motor vehicle and burglary other than dwelling.

Cllr Wayne Ronayne from the Christchurch ward, another targeted area, said: ‘This is an unwelcome statistic. The advice of the police when taken with a targeted and collective approach to the prevention of car crime, I hope will see a rapid reduction in the current trend.’

Sergeant Meenaghan said: ‘Very often loose change and items of low value have been stolen. It is possible the figure could be higher than that which has been reported.

‘We would ask the community to take personal responsibility for their possessions.’