POLICE are stepping up patrols after a South Tyneside village was hit by a spate of overnight car break-ins.
Six vehicles were broken into in East Boldon last night, and drivers are being asked to be on the alert.
Officers from the neighbourhood policing team will be patrolling the area and giving motorists crime prevention advice.
Vehicles were targeted in Burnham Grove, Yellow Leas Farm, Front Street, Alison Drive and Victoria Terrace.
Neighbourhood Inspector Dave Hudson said: “We are determined to reiterate the message to motorists to not leave items on show in their vehicles.
“Incidents like these are often the work of opportunist thieves who will break into a vehicle when they see something to steal as they walk past.
“This doesn’t have to be anything of great value - in many cases items are only worth small sums.
“However, this doesn’t stop criminals causing hundreds of pounds worth of damage to car doors and windows to steal a bit of loose change.
“Often they will also try a car door in the hope it’s been left unlocked.
“Our officers are patrolling the area to stop thieves in their tracks.
“I would urge motorists not to make life easy for them, make sure their vehicle is locked and items moved from display, or better still, not stored in it at all where possible.
“Taking little steps towards security can go a long way to protecting your property.”
Anyone who spots suspicious activity in their area should contact police on 101, extension 69191.