Lock valuables outof sight, police tell motorists

MOTORISTS in North Devon are still not getting the message about securing their vehicles and leaving valuables out of sight. Police have seen a recent increase throughout the region in vehicles being broken into because items have been left on display. Th

MOTORISTS in North Devon are still not getting the message about securing their vehicles and leaving valuables out of sight.Police have seen a recent increase throughout the region in vehicles being broken into because items have been left on display.This is despite officers on patrol routinely checking parked cars and last year sending out warning letters to 1,450 owners who left valuables on view in their vehicles.Police Crime Prevention Officer Donna Woolway said: "This includes in-car stereo systems. If the front cover on your stereo can be removed, please ensure that when you leave your vehicle parked, you remove the front cover and take it with you. Thieves still favour stereos, because they are easy to sell on and there is a market for them. Other items that should always be taken with you and not left visible include - money of any value; CDs; handbags; laptops; mobile phones; iPods; satellite navigation systems and sat nav holders; coats and clothing; and sporting equipment."All of the above items were regularly left on display by North Devon motorists, she said. Not only was having your car broken into a huge inconvenience, but also a costly one, with the possibility of your insurance premium rising as a result. By taking the following steps motorists could reduce their chances of becoming a victim of this type of crime, she advised.* Take audio and satellite navigation equipment with you; * Remove the satellite navigation cradle and wipe away any windscreen mark; * Never leave the car with the engine running, or the keys in the ignition; * Fit self-locking screws to prevent number plates being stolen; * Always lock your car and fully close windows and sunroofs; * Fit anti-theft devices to steering wheels, fuel caps and wheels; * Park in safe, well-lit areas and use secure car parks "I can assure you that the police are putting in a significant amount of work behind the scenes to reduce vehicle crime and to catch those responsible for committing these crimes," said Donna "If you have any information that may help us, please call 08452 777444 or to give anonymous information call Crimestoppers 0800 555111.Please remember - 'Parked empty is parked safe!'


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