Reminder to keep vehicles secure after rise in thefts from cars and vans in Northamptonshire

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Motorists are being reminded to make sure they lock their vehicles and remove any items of value in a bid to make life as difficult as possible for criminals.

The reminder from Northamptonshire Police comes after an increase in thefts from vehicles across the county.

Detective Inspector Adam Pendlebury from CID, said: “We’ve seen an increase in thefts from vehicles, where the vehicle hasn’t been locked or where the offender has smashed a window to take something that has been left on show.

“Too many people leave possessions on car or van seats, keep expensive items such as sat navs in glove compartments and leave bags or other valuables on display, perhaps not realising thieves only have to take a quick look inside and their belongings can suddenly become a target.

“We would like to remind people just how important it is to make sure their vehicles are secure and not to allow their belongings to become a temptation for thieves.”

Tips for protecting your vehicle and its contents:

- Don’t leave anything on display in your vehicle. Even an old coat on the back seat can be a temptation for a thief to steal first, regardless of its value.

- When you leave your car, take your belongings with you. If you can’t and have no other option, then lock them in your boot.

- In particular, avoid leaving the following items in your car: mobile phones; laptops; credit and debit cards; cheque books; cash; vehicle registration documents and private mail (especially with your address on it).

- Security devices are a good deterrent for thieves, such as electronic immobilisers (which prevent cars from starting) and mechanical immobilisers such as steering wheel locks.

- When you leave your vehicle, always remove the ignition key and lock all doors. It only takes a few seconds for a thief to jump into your vehicle and drive away. This should be remembered at all times – even when paying for petrol or popping into a shop.

- Lock all doors and close all windows and the sunroof every time you leave your vehicle unattended, however briefly.

- Business drivers should also be on the alert for irregularities in loading procedures and report this if seen.

- Where possible, business drivers should use pre-planned secure overnight parking facilities and these should be decided before the journey is started.