THIS is the posse of four horsemen who have been called in to rein in South Tyneside thieves.
Police in South Shields have drafted in members of Northumbria Police’s mounted section to gallop to the rescue of drivers in the borough.
The plan is part of a crime prevention project called Operation Mercedes, which aims to crack down on the number of parked vehicles which are broken into.
The operation was launched after a recent spate of thefts from vans and cars in the Westoe and Chichester areas of South Shields, where property taken included sat nav systems, money and tools.
Officers riding the four-legged crimefighters are also taking note of any vehicles where goods are on show, and the registered owner will be written to and given advice on how to keep their things safe.
If the owner lives nearby, the cops may even pay them a visit to give face-to-face advice. Peter Sutton, Neighbourhood Inspector for Riverside and West Shields, said: “We want to use all resources available to us to cut offences.
“Using the mounted section is yet another way of keeping thieves at bay. Not only do they have added presence, they have extra height which in turn, brings extra visibility when out on patrol and on the lookout for thieves.”
He added: “I also hope they are a reassuring sight for residents, workers and shoppers who may have their vehicles parked in the area.”
Insp Sutton is also calling on drivers to play their part in stopping break-ins by keeping their vehicles locked.
He added: “We would again reiterate to motorists the need to remove any items on show in their vehicles which could tempt passing thieves.
“Many thefts are opportunist in nature.
“Even a bit of loose change is enough to entice thieves, which will prove costly for vehicle owners in terms of fixing any damage caused.
“If drivers have to leave items in their vehicles, they should make sure they’re stored in the boot and out of sight.
“Vehicles should always be locked when unattended to avoid giving thieves an open invitation to anything inside, or worse, the vehicle itself.”
For more information, visit www.northumbriapolice.uk, follow @NPSouthTyneside on Twitter or search for NPSouthTyneside on Facebook.