Police in Exeter are asking the public to be vigilant following a spike in car crime in the area over the past six weeks.
Since the start of December there has been a notable rise in the number of cars targeted for criminal activity.
The majority of vehicle crimes during this period are thefts from motor vehicles where windows have been smashed and property stolen.
There has also been reports of several vehicles in the Sowton Industrial Estate having their fuel caps forced open and fuel drained off.
Police Constable Saren Isaac, Neighbourhood Beat Manager for Cowick and St Thomas said: “There has been a notable rise in the number of crimes against vehicles in Exeter recently. We are looking at the full spectrum of crimes against vehicles, from car thefts and damage to vehicles, but the vast majority are crimes that could be avoided, such as cars being broken into because valuables such as purses are being left on car seats and attracting opportunist thieves.
“We have released a map showing where these incidents have taken place, which clearly shows that these crimes cover the whole of the city. Our message the public is to be extra vigilant and report anything suspicious to the police.
“Thefts from cars include handbags, gifts and mobiles phones left in full view, as well as Sat Navs, so we are also asking the public to take extra precautions to ensure that you haven’t left any valuables in your car, or have any items in full view that may attract attention.
“Please ensure that your car is locked at all times and parking in well-lit areas will also help to deter thieves, especially those looking to syphon fuel from vehicles. If you have CCTV which over-looks your vehicle, please make sure it is working as this footage could be vital in helping police catch those responsible.
If you notice anything suspicious, please call 101.
Further advice can be found on our website at https://www.devon-cornwall.police.uk/crime-prevention/your-vehicle/security-advice/.
Source:: Devon and Cornwall Police News