POLICE are hitting the streets in South Shields on the hunt for would-be car crime victims.
Officers will be checking out vehicles parked in streets, looking for items on display.
If anything is found, the registration number will be taken and the owner contacted to warn them of the risks they are taking by leaving goods on view.
The increased patrols come as latest police figures reveal since January 19, an average of four cars a week have been broken into in the Riverside and West Shields area by passing thieves – a total of 32.
Goods stolen include satnav systems, purses , documents and cash. in bid to tackle car car
Acting Neighbourhood Inspector Nick Gjorven said car crime is falling, with the majority of car break-ins happening where goods have been left on display.
He said: “By leaving goods on display, you are increasing the risk of your vehicle being broken into, and we need those people, who are yet to take the advice on board, to realise this.”
It is estimated since January that drivers who have failed to ensure their vehicles are free of tempting goods have racked up a bill of £5,000 – which includes the value of items stolen and the cost of repairing broken windows and locks.
Officers out on patrols say they have come across handbags left on seats with purses and mobile phones visible, suction cup holders from sat navs left on windows and documents on dashboards.
Where possible, police are tracking down owners and knocking on doors to let motorists know they’ve left items on view, to prevent them from becoming a victim of a passing thief.
Vehicles are also being leafleted to highlight crime prevention advice to owners.
Acting Insp Gjorven added: “All it takes is a few extra minutes before you get out of the vehicle to check nothing has been left on display – including the suction holders for sat navs.
“It’s not enough just to remove the satnav, you also need to remove the holder and any traces of marks the suction cup has left behind.”