POLICE are reminding motorists not to leave cars unattended when defrosting their vehicles.
The warning comes after a rise in the theft of cars after people have gone back into their homes, leaving their engines running to de-ice windows.
A spokesman for Northumbria Police said: “It can be tempting to start the vehicle and leave the engine running while the windows are defrosting.
“We want people to think about the risk this poses – an unattended car or van with the keys in the ignition is an open invitation to thieves and we have seen instances where thieves have roamed the streets on frosty mornings looking for an opportunity to steal a car or van that has been left.”
The advice forms part of Operation Soundwave – a campaign aimed at cutting volume crime and tackling opportunist thieves – which will continue over the winter months.