Cleveland Police would like to remind motorists not to leave anything on view in their vehicles with the aim of deterring opportunist thieves.
Crime prevention officer Gerry McBride said: “Think of your car as a large glass display case on wheels. You should, when parking, consider leaving the glove box open and removing the parcel shelf, to show the would-be-thief that there is nothing in your vehicle.
“Check around your car before you leave it and make sure that nothing is on display, thieves will steal anything! Check that you have locked it and that windows and the sunroof are closed.
“Don’t leave coats in the car. The coat may be worthless to you, however, to a thief, it may contain a wallet or hide valuables underneath.
“At home keep vehicles locked, empty them of all valuables and keep the keys somewhere safe and secure; not on a table, stairs or key hook near the front door. Thieves have been known to go on fishing expeditions for these keys, through the letterbox, or even a cat flap!
“If you are looking to purchase additional physical or electronic security devices for your vehicle I would recommend that you try to purchase devices that are accredited by Sold Secure www.soldsecure.com, or are Thatcham approved www.thatcham.org
“If you are parking your vehicle in a public place, try to find a car park that has received ‘Park Mark’ accreditation – these sites have gone through a process to improve and maintain good security (www.parkmark.co.uk)
“Tell your insurance company if you have made any enhancements to your vehicle security, as it may qualify you for a reduction in your premium.”