Police warning after a rise in vehicle crime

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POLICE are warning drivers not to leave valuables on display in their cars following a rise in vehicle crime.

Officers have stepped up patrols in the Fratton area of Portsmouth after the number of thefts from vehicles rocketed.

There were 92 reported thefts in the area in January and February compared to 58 in the same period last year – a 58 per cent rise. Thieves are snatching everything from coats to satellite navigation systems and even loose change. Cars with closed glove boxes are being targeted and in some cases brazen thieves are even approaching cars on people’s driveways.

Police are taking down the numberplate of vehicles where valuables are left on display so they can contact the owner to warn them and offer advice. Posters are also being handed out and placed under car windscreen wipers.

PC Lee Gott said: ‘We’ve noticed that car thieves are targeting cars that look like they may contain items of value. Some people tend to leave items inside their car, and then leave the car unattended. Even if belongings aren’t on show if a glove box is shut, a thief may think there’s something worth taking in there.

‘Anything can tempt a thief – whether it is a coat on the back seat, sucker marks on a windscreen from a sat-nav, a sunglasses case, or even loose change. It’s so important that you take these things out with you, and get rid of any indication that items are in the car.’