Police remind motorists 'lock it when you leave it'
15 February 2013
SOLIHULL Police are reminding drivers to lock out thieves after seeing an increase in opportunist car crime during 2013.
From June through to December last year officers saw the amount of theft from cars drop when compared to the previous year's figures. But starting this year opportunist crime has led to an increase in crime.
After not locking doors on their vehicles when they are parked on their drives, motorists have returned to find items including sat navs, laptops and other valuable personal stolen.
Detective Chief Inspector Farooq Sheikh is keen for the public to support the ongoing work of officers to help reduce this opportunist crime once more and dispel any misconceptions about vehicle safety across the borough.
"Motorists are telling officers that they are deliberately leaving vehicles unlocked to prevent their cars being broken into, preferring criminals to open doors to the vehicles rather than having to smash windows.
"But rather than preventing crime this ill conceived approach is actually promoting the chances of becoming a victim of crime. Smashing windows draws attention to thieves, and they much prefer to discretely try door handles to check if cars are locked.
"Our advice is always to lock cars, and if you see anyone acting suspiciously in your neighbourhood to calls us immediately."
Officers are issuing the following advice for drivers when leaving their vehicle:
• Close and lock all windows and doors whenever you leave your vehicle
• Activate the alarm when leaving your vehicle, and if it is not alarmed consider having one professionally fitted
• Don't leave anything on display - even a carrier bag is a temptation for a thief. Thieves steal first and think about value later
• Never leave keys in the ignition - even for just a few seconds.
• If you have a garage, use it and lock it.
Motorists are also reminded that leaving a vehicle unsecure may also void their insurance policy or lead to an increase in their premium.
Detective Chief Inspector Sheikh added: "To many this message may seem like common sense, and we thank these people for their continued support. But it is clear not everyone is following the advice as we are still seeing crime committed by opportunist thieves."
For further car crime advice log onto www.west-midlands.police.uk/safermotors
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- police.uk (external site)