Protect your presents from Christmas thieves

Joseph Bulmer

Devon and Cornwall Police have launched a seasonal campaign urging Christmas shoppers to be on their guard for opportunist thieves preying on vehicles.

‘Empty your car before someone else does’ is the message of the campaign, which reminds shoppers that any Christmas presents left on show in their vehicles can be a target for criminals.

As the festive period approaches, police are recommending that people take care by keeping car windows closed and doors locked and by keeping presents and valuables out of sight.

Bob Bunney, Force Crime Reduction Advisor, said: “Theft from vehicles in Devon and Cornwall remains low, but the opportunity for this type of crime traditionally rises during Christmas. Shoppers should be aware and keep purchases with them rather than leave them on display in vehicles. This will reduce the opportunity for crime.

“By taking simple precautions people can help police to reduce crime while preventing the heartache of losing valuable or sentimental gifts over the festive season,”

Police are asking shoppers to follow simple precautions when out and about during the festive season:

• Lock your vehicles and close windows.

• Park in a well-lit and recognised car park.

• Leave nothing on display in your vehicle.

• Plan shopping so that bulky items are collected at the end of the day rather than being stored in your vehicle.

• When you get home make a note of any serial numbers of valuable items on the guarantee slip.

• Register valuables using the free service at which enables police to identify the owner of the items if they are stolen.

Police across Devon and Cornwall are continuing to patrol car parks and councils are using posters and leaflets to advise car owners how to take care over the festive period.