Thefts from cars up by 95 per cent

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Towcester’s highest ranking police officer is reminding motorists of simple security steps following more than 80 thefts from vehicles in south Northants over the past two months

Inspector Helen Pritchett is telling district car owners to remove all valuables from their vehicles after the number of thefts from cars almost doubled compared to the same time last year.

A total of 82 incidents where items have been removed from parked vehicles across the district have been reported to police during the past eight weeks – a 95 per cent increase compared to the same period last year.

Insp Pritchett said the thefts had taken place in all areas, but worst hit include the Brafield and Yardley ward in the north of the district, where 14 cars were raided in eight weeks.

Insp Pritchett said the police were focusing on this crime type as a priority in the area.

She said: “The top items targeted include registration plates, tools, bags, catalytic converters and satellite navigation systems.

“Letters offering prevention advice are being distributed to motorists in areas that have recently experienced these crimes.”

Mike Langlois, co-ordinator of Brackley’s Neighbourhood Watch, said Brackley Police had informed him of five incidents of criminal damage to vehicles in the town during December, four thefts of number plates (often used for the theft of fuel from petrol stations), one theft of a hub cap, and one incident of theft from an unlocked vehicle.

Mr Langlois added: “Do not leave sat navs, cameras or handbags visible in a vehicle, put them in the boot, it is that easy.”

Motorists are advised to keep vehicles locked and secure, and where possible park it in a garage/driveway or in a well lit area, remove suction marks left by sat nav cradles, always remove all items from a parked vehicle, even an old coat may be enough to tempt a thief, and never leave keys in the ignition.

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