Beauty spot car thefts on the rise, police warn

POLICE are warning motorists to be extra cautious after a spate of thefts from vehicles at rural beauty spots.

Friday, 29th April 2022, 4:49 pm

Since Friday, April 15, Hampshire Constabulary have received 10 reports of thefts from vehicles parked in secluded areas or beauty spots during the daytime.

The reports include vehicles which have had their windows smashed or left insecure. Items including bags, rugs, wallets and dash cams have been stolen.

In one case, a van parked on Kingsmead, Fareham, on Tuesday, April 19, was broken into sometime between 5.55pm and 7.40pm. A Whyte S-120 C Works 2020 mountain bike and a backpack containing clothes, wallet and keys were stolen.

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Kingsmead in Fareham. Picture by Google Maps

On Monday, 18 April, a car parked on Grange Park, Northington, was broken into between 2.05pm and 2.10pm. A handbag was stolen after being left on a seat inside the car underneath clothing.

A police spokesperson said: ‘We want to take this opportunity to remind you of some crime prevention advice.

‘Most offences of theft from vehicle are opportunist. If valuable possessions such as handbags, laptops, mobile phones are left on show inside a vehicle, it is much more likely to be targeted by thieves.

‘Even items of little value, such as shopping bags and clothing, may tempt a potential thief to break into the vehicle to see whether they contain anything worth stealing.

‘As we head into the summer months, we know more people will be leaving their vehicles at local beauty spots to go and enjoy the scenery, which is why we want to remind you to remove valuables from your vehicle and lock it.

‘Make sure to physically check that doors and window are locked, especially if you have used the remote to lock the vehicle, then look inside again to make sure you’ve not left anything behind.’

Vehicles have been targeted on roads including:

Kingsmead, Fareham

Beacon Hill Lane, Corhampton

Lomer Lane, Warnford

Chillandham Lane, Itchen Abbas

Cheriton Lane, Bishops Sutton

Basingstoke Road, Abbotstone

Grange Park, Northington

Mill Hill, Alresford

Stratton Lane, East Stratton

Tips on how to keep your vehicle safe at beauty spots:

:: Before you leave home, think about what you need and leave any unnecessary items of value at home.

:: Try to park in sign-posted parking areas.

:: Be cautious about parking your car in isolation. Thieves can be put off when other people are around.

:: Do not leave anything in your vehicle. A jacket or coat left behind may be of very little value to you, but a thief may think it has been used to hide a laptop or handbag and will break into your vehicle to find out.

:: Take items with you rather than locking them in the boot, you can’t be sure who has seen you do this.

:: Make sure you do not leave documents which have your personal details on in your vehicle.

:: Remember to lock all windows and sunroofs and lock all doors. Try the handle to check it's locked and look inside again to make sure you haven’t left anything behind.

:: Make use of any security products you might have such as steering locks.

:: Whilst enjoying the sights make sure you keep your bag and possessions with you.

More advice on how to keep your vehicle secure can be found at hampshire.police.uk/cp/crime-prevention/keeping-vehicles-safe/vehicle-safe-and-sound.