PEOPLE are being warned to ‘lock it or lose it’, after Gosport was hit by a crimewave targeting cars and sheds.
Since the beginning of October policing teams have seen a spike in vehicle crime and burglaries.
The incidents are happening in certain areas and people are being urged stay safe by locking cars and properties.
The burglaries are mostly from garden sheds and have been happening in the Hardway area.
Car crime such as keying doors and bonnets and tyres being punctured is happening around Carnarvon Road, Lees Lane, Middlecroft Lane and Barham Close.
And thefts from vehicles are being reported across Gosport.
Darren Lowery and his wife Emma had their vehicle targeted outside their home in Heaton Road.
The pair had been to hospital after their seven-year-old son Charlie suffered a head injury. On returning home, Emma took the car keys to open the front door while Darren carried Charlie inside the house.
Ten minutes later, they went to lock the car to find someone had got inside and stolen Darren’s work laptop, camera and other equipment.
The 49-year-old said: ‘They saw the opportunity and they took it.
With the evenings becoming darker earlier there is an increased opportunity for thieves to commit crime
‘They took my laptop bag which was hidden under the seats and had about £1,000 worth of kit inside. My car feels dirty now and I hate knowing someone has been in it.’
Mr Lowery said Charlie and his other son Wilf, nine, had been affected and wait next to the car until he locks it, reminding him to do it.
The couple said petty crime has been happening in the area for the last few years and they will be buying a camera to deter thieves or catch people committing crimes.
Sergeant Lesley Meenaghan, from Gosport police, said many of the crimes are opportunistic now the evenings are drawing in.
‘With the evenings becoming darker earlier there is an increased opportunity for thieves to commit crime,’ she said.
‘We have received reports of cars being left unattended for a short while for the owner of the car to return and discover property has been removed.
‘In another instance a victim unlocked her bike at the front of her home, went to the kitchen to put her rubbish out only to come back out a few minutes later to discover the bike had been stolen.
‘The message continues to be “lock it or lose it”.’
Sgt Meenaghan said a number of people have been arrested.
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.
Police are urging people to lock their property. To report a crime, call 999.