A SENIOR police officer has hit out at drivers ‘irresponsibly’ leaving their cars unlocked after more than 320 cars were targeted by thieves.
Hampshire police said 163 cars were targeted in Gosport and 164 in Fareham, all between August 19 and November 13 – just 86 days.
Now officers are using police cadets to remind people to lock their cars. They will put leaflets on cars where valuables are on show.
Chief inspector Sharon Woolrich, police district commander for Fareham and Gosport said: ‘Some people seem to irresponsibly think that by leaving their vehicle deliberately insecure it avoids damage being caused if someone does try to break in.
‘In reality they are attracting thieves to return to the area on a regular basis with no regard for other residents.’
She said none of the vehicles had been damaged and estimated 90 per cent of them had been left unlocked.
Ch Insp Woolrich added: ‘In many cases the items taken have not been of high value, but loose change left in centre consoles and items left on show have attracted thieves to search elsewhere in the vehicle in case anything else was left. As you’d expect items such as sat navs and sunglasses have then been taken.
‘There’s no particular area or type of vehicle which has been targeted. This has been causing issues for motorists across the towns.’
She said officers are investigating if any of the thefts are linked but ’strongly suspects’ they are just opportunistic.