Police call on motorists to keep their vehicles safe during lockdown
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Staffordshire Police is calling on all motorists to take extra steps in ensuring their vehicles are safe from criminals during the Covid-19 lockdown.
The force has dealt with a slight rise in the number of items being stolen from motor vehicles by opportunist thieves and have issued some advice on how best to stay secure.
Chief Inspector Mark Barlow from the force’s Stoke North Neighbourhood Policing Team said: “There’s been a slight increase in the number of vehicles being targeted by people looking to raise money during this government lockdown.
“At this unprecedented time we’re asking people to be extra vigilant and follow the appropriate advice when securing their cars, ensuring those who try their luck aren’t successful in taking your property.”
Here’s a list of steps you can take to ensure you don’t become targeted by thieves during this lockdown:
- Always lock your car – whether you’ve popped out for essentials or filling up on fuel it’s vital you keep your doors locked at all times.
- Close windows to prevent “fishing” – it might be hot outside but you don’t need to keep your windows open when you’re not in the car. Close them, so there’s no gap for a thief to exploit.
- Secure your number plates – use tamper resistant screws to make it harder for thieves to steal them.
- Secure anything that’s on the outside of your vehicle – Got a roof-rack or holiday top box? Make sure they’re locked properly if you’ve got no choice but to leave them with your vehicle overnight.
- Take it with you or hide it – mobile phones, coins, sunglasses, handbags or medication are all irresistible to an opportunist thief. They shouldn’t be left in an unattended vehicle.
- Hide electrical items and leave no clues – Make sure you take down sat nav mounts and remove suction cup marks as they’re tell-tale signs that a gadget is stored inside.
- Park in well-lit and busy areas – If you don’t have a drive then make sure your car is left in a well-lit area, preferably one with security cameras nearby.
- Protect your tools – If you must leave your tools in your van overnight then make sure they’re marked well, this makes them less appealing to thieves looking to sell them on. Keep a photo inventory of all that you have as well.