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31 July 2011, 06:00
A Hertfordshire car crime victim has shared his advice to help other drivers keep their property secure after a number of thefts across the county.
Allen Flay, who lives in Harpenden, had been a victim of a number of thefts from his vehicle and was keen to share his experiences so that others could learn from them.
Whilst local officers have been patrolling neighbourhoods to issue advice and send a clear message to criminals that they are on the look out for those responsible, motorists can help by taking some simple steps:
"I don't leave anything in the car at all," said Allen. "Even if you leave a little thing in the car, they'll think you've got sat navs and iPods and things like that.
"Even if you remove your sat nav, the sticker there [on the windscreen] shows the true story that it could still be in your car - even if it's shoved under a chair, they look for a bit of cable or something like that."
Detective Chief Inspector Paul Williamson, who leads on crime reduction for the force, commented: "We're grateful to Allen for sharing his experiences with us and hope that others listen to his very sound advice. The Constabulary is working hard to tackle car crime, but motorists have a part to play too.
"The message is simple - remove anything of value from your car, and keep everything else out of sight. Even if you know that there is nothing in your coat pocket left on the back seat, an opportunistic thief may try his luck - leaving you with the inconvenience of repairs, insurance claims and replacing goods, along with the heartache of losing prized possessions."
Residents can help too by reporting any suspicious activity to police. In an emergency or if a crime is happening there and then, always dial 999. If anyone has any information on car crime, please call us on the non-emergency number 101 or alternatively contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.