POLICE are urging motorists to drive away opportunist thieves by taking simple crime prevention steps.
The message comes after five thefts from vehicles in the Boldon and Cleadon areas since the beginning of August - most of which were as a result of owners leaving their cars insecure overnight.
Officers are patrolling the areas to deter and target thieves, but motorists are being urged to ensure their vehicle is locked at all times when left unattended.
They are also being asked to make sure any goods, even those of insignificant value, are removed from display to remove the temptation for thieves.
The warning comes as part of Operation Soundwave, the forcewide campaign tackling opportunist thieves.
Neighbourhood Sergeant Jon Commons said: “We have stepped up officer patrols in these areas following incidents, but we can’t be in every area at once.
“With this in mind, we would ask that people take time to assess the security of their vehicle.
“If leaving it for any length of time it should always be locked.
“Thieves are opportunist in their nature and will try doors until they hit lucky.
“Even if a car is secure, items on show will tempt passing thieves.
“Whether the item is of high value or simply a small amount of loose change, they will find a way to get into the vehicle, causing costly damage for the owner.
“I’d also ask people to report any suspicious activity to us, so we can take action.
“By taking crime prevention steps, together with our continued enforcement activity and patrols we can drive away opportunist thieves.”