A MINI crimewave by opportunist thieves has prompted a warning by police for residents in two South Tyneside villages not to leave goods on show in cars.
The call comes after five vehicles were raided in the Boldon and Cleadon area since the beginning of August and there has also been a string of burglaries.
Extra patrols – including mounted officers – have been drafted in while undercover operations have also been launched in the area.
Now, police and Cleadon councillor Jeff Milburn are calling on residents to play their part in helping to drive down crime in the area.
Coun Milburn said: “We have been really lucky in Cleadon and surrounding areas, in that crime here is extremely low.
“But we have in recent weeks experienced a number of burglaries and thefts from cars – some of which have been down to thieves seeing an opportunity to steal and taking it.
“Through the police and community meetings, we are always reminding residents to lock their doors and to remove items from their cars.
“The police are really doing all they can to prevent residents from becoming victims of crime – however residents also need to be playing their part by taking on board and acting on crime prevention advice being offered.” Motorists are being reminded to check their vehicle is locked at all times when left unattended and to ensure nothing is left on display.
The message 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 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 to 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.”
People can contact police on 101 ext 69191.
Crime prevention advice can be found on the police website www.northumbria.police.uk