Warning after 30 cars targeted by thieves in four days

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THIEVES have targeted 30 vehicles in a spate of thefts, police have revealed.

Hampshire police said 13 vehicles were targeted in vehicles in Gosport, and 17 in Portsmouth since Friday.

Police are investigating

Police are investigating

The incidents have sparked a warning from police for people to be vigilant about leaving items in their cars.

The roads targeted in Gosport were Mayfield Road, St Mary’s Avenue, Carlton Road, St George’s Walk, and Ashburton Road.

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

Police did not say where the 17 vehicles were in Portsmouth.

But a spokeswoman said 16 of the incidents saw items stolen, including bags, laptops, phones, sat navs and money.

Inspector Richard Thompson from the neighbourhood policing team in Gosport said motorists should always lock their vehicles.

He 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, no matter how long it is unattended for, and don’t leave valuables on display.

‘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.’

Officers have now issued this advice to people:

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

n 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.

n 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.

n 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.

n Don’t leave valuables in your car when not in use.