Warning over spate of thefts from vehicles

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Motorists are being reminded to ‘lock it or lose it’ following a spate of car thefts.

Police have received reports of thefts from cars in Whitley Bay, Monkseaton, Shiremoor, Cullercoats and West Allotment – with the majority of vehicles left insecure.

Among the expensive property stolen are sat navs, laptops and mobile phones.

Neighbourhood Inspector Jim Gray said: “The common theme amongst this spate of thefts is that vehicles have been left insecure with expensive property left on display.

“It only takes a thief a few seconds to reach into an unlocked car and steal something left lying on the seat or in the glovebox.

“And there is a chance an insurance company may not pay out if the vehicle has been left insecure.

“It’s important people take a few moments when leaving their vehicles to make sure windows are wound up and all doors are locked, and that nothing is left on view. Anything valuable should be removed from the car if possible, or stored in the boot.

“And try to park in secure car parks or well lit areas.

“We’re doing everything we can to identify thieves and extra patrols are taking place at key times to deter thieves.”

“By taking some crime prevention steps people can reduce their risk of falling victim to an opportunist thief.”

The Commissioner Vera Baird said: “I hope people living in Whitley Bay, Monkseaton, Shiremoor, Cullercoats and West Allotment take the opportunity of speaking to their local officers about crime prevention and anything they see which is suspicious.

“Together we can help tackle the actions of a minority of people who will take any opportunity to take property which does not belong to them.”

For more crime prevention information visit www.northumbria.police.uk/vehiclesecurity