Appeal for residents to keep their cars secure after spate of incidents in Lichfield
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Police in Lichfield are reminding residents to be vigilant around locking their cars and not storing valuables in them after a spate of recent incidents.
“Opportunist thieves” have been reported around the city trying door handles to see if they are locked, and “in some instances” items have been taken from inside unsecure vehicles.
PCSO Deryn Small of the Lichfield neighbourhood team said: “Over recent weeks, there have been reports from various locations in the Lichfield area of vehicles being checked by opportunist thieves to see if they are locked and, in some instances, items have been stolen from inside.
“We are issuing a general reminder to ensure that you lock your vehicle when you leave it unattended and to remove any belongings and tools you may have in the vehicles.
“Please report suspicious activity to Police on 101 or 'digital 101' in a non-emergency, and call 999 in an emergency.”
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.
• 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.
There are also useful guides to keeping your vehicle secure on the Staffordshire Police website, such as ‘Is your vehicle attracting thieves?’ available at https://www.staffordshire.police.uk/cp/crime-prevention/theft-of-a-vehicle/vehicle-attracting-thieves/ and ‘How to keep your vehicle safe and sound’ available at https://www.staffordshire.police.uk/cp/crime-prevention/theft-from-a-vehicle/vehicle-safe-and-sound/
If you are a victim of theft from your vehicle, call 101 to report the incident. In an emergency, always dial 999.