Police Warning For Motorists

24 October 2011, 13:34 | Updated: 24 October 2011, 13:40

Herts Police is asking motorists to remember to remove all their possessions from their cars and vans after a number of thefts over the past two days across the county.

Although vehicle crime is significantly reduced this year - in fact by 700 offences - police advise that cars are still being broken into, with incidents ranging from Sat Navs being taken out of glove boxes, laptops stolen from under car seats, bags stolen from car boots, sunglasses, toys and mobile phones taken, as well as catalytic converters and number plates being stolen.  In some cases, the vehicles were left unlocked by owners.

“It can be easy to forget to take everything with you when you leave your car, but the surest way to avoid having anything stolen is to remove it,” said Detective Chief Inspector Jon Humphries. “Most thieves are opportunistic and will take a chance that there is something worth breaking into a vehicle for – especially if there’s a bag or coat left in view on the back seat – so save yourself the time and expense of replacing items and car repairs by removing all valuables and keeping everything else out of sight.

“I’d also ask residents to report anything suspicious to police straight away via our non-emergency number 101. You know your local area, so if something seems out of the ordinary, please let us know.”

Under the force initiative Operation Scorpion, which has seen a large number of criminals arrested and charged for crimes like theft, enquiries into these incidents are on-going. Officers will also be out and about in the local community issuing crime prevention advice.

The Constabulary also advises:

• Remove your sat nat and its holder, and wipe away any suction marks as these could suggest to a potential thief that a sat nav is stored in the car.
• Use an approved steering lock or gear clamp and remember to stet you immobiliser and alarm if you have them.
• Register your stereo, laptop, sat nav and any other property on the free online property database www.immobilise.com. It only takes a few minutes and it could help police trace your property if it’s lost or stolen.

Incidents include:

• Power tools taken from a van parked in a car park in Northgate End, Bishop’s Stortford between October 19-21.

• CDs and coins were stolen from a car in Tolmers Road, Cuffley between just gone midnight and 6am on Friday October 21.

• Tools were stolen from a van in Cheshnut Avenue, Rickmansworth at just before midday today (Saturday October 22).

• A handbag containing cash and cards was stolen from a vehicle in Manchester Close, Stevenage between 6.30-6.45pm on Thursday October 20

• Sunglasses and CDs were taken from a vehicle parked in Hawthorn Hill, Letchworth overnight (Friday October 21– Saturday October 22).

• A sat nav was taken from a vehicle in The Campions, Borehamwood in the early hours of Thursday morning (October 20) at around 2am.

• A video camera, toys and clothes were stolen from a car in Ashfield Avenue, Bushey last night (October 21) between 10pm and 8.30am this morning (October 22).

• A catalytic converter was stolen from a van in Lea Road, Waltham Abbey between 1pm and 3.30pm on Thursday afternoon (October 20).

For more advice, please visit www.herts.police.uk and click on Crime Prevention under Advice in the main menu.