Spike in thieves targeting cars in Gosport

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THIEVES have targeted 13 vehicles in four days, police said.

Hampshire police said the roads targeted in Gosport were Mayfield Road, St Mary’s Avenue, Carlton Road, St George’s Walk, and Ashburton Road.

Police are investigating

Police are investigating

On Saturday a Nishiki Criterium road bike was stolen from the rack on a car in Avenue Road between 10.30am and 11am.

Inspector Richard Thompson from the neighbourhood policing team said: ‘We are carrying out enquiries to see if any of these reports are linked, but it sends a clear message to motorists across Gosport that you should always lock your vehicle.’

He added: ‘With the nights getting darker and winter drawing in, there is potential for this problem to get worse. Don’t leave your vehicle unattended at any time if it is unlocked, some people may decide to start the ignition in advance of leaving on a cold morning, if you do then make sure you don’t go back inside your home and provide an easy target for a thief.

‘We’re doing our best to address the issue, but in many cases theft can be prevented by observing simple crime prevention advice.’

Police have issued this advice:

Thefts from vehicles

• Don’t leave anything in your car - if it’s not there, then it can’t be stolen.

• Choose a stereo that can be removed and make sure you take it with you! You should also mark it with your registration number or postcode, in case it’s stolen.

• Thieves aren’t picky, so don’t leave even low-value items in your car. Often thieves will smash and grab first and look later to see if what they’ve stolen is valuable.

• Don’t hide it - if you hide items under the seat or in the glove box, chances are someone will have watched you. If you cannot avoid leaving something in your car, put it in your boot before you begin your journey.

• Don’t leave valuables in your car even for a minute - it only takes a thief a few seconds to smash a window and get what they want, so don’t take the chance.

• Your car isn’t safe to be left unlocked on your driveway - nearly half of all incidents where items are stolen from cars happen when they are parked overnight, close to the owner’s home.

• Don’t leave your house keys or anything with your address on it in your vehicle - someone could steal your keys and then let themselves into your home.

Sat navs

• If it’s portable, take the sat nav with you together with the support cradle and suction pads.

• Wipe away any marks left by the suction pads as thieves will look out for these.

• Don’t leave your equipment in the glove compartment - thieves usually check here first.

Securing cars

• Always secure your car.

• Always lock your car and wind your windows up, even if you are just posting a letter or going into a petrol station.

• If you are stationary in traffic, keep your doors locked and don’t wind your windows too far down - someone could reach in and try to grab something off your passenger seat.

• Use a steering wheel lock every time you leave your car - it makes life more difficult for the thief and therefore your car a less tempting target.

• Get a car alarm - they not only deter a thief from stealing the car, but also from stealing items from inside it. Have it fitted by a professional.

• Immobilisers stop the engine from starting if the car is being stolen and they are the best way to stop thieves. Having an immobiliser is a good idea if you have an expensive car, and it might help to reduce your insurance premiums.

Beauty spot vehicle advice

• 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.

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

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