POLICE are hoping to drive home a message to motorists to stop giving thieves an easy ride.
Officers in Sunderland said drivers are continuing to leave items on full view in their vehicles, which can be tempting to passing crooks.
Even if the car’s fully secure, raiders will take seconds to smash a window and help themselves to goods inside, no matter what their value.
Police in the east of the city are now stepping up patrols at different times of the day to deter and target thieves as part of Operation Flush.
They are also giving out crime prevention advice, while signs have gone up in affected areas to reinforce the message.
Recent offences have been spread across the Hendon, Grangetown and Ryhope areas.
Similar operations are also underway across the city.
Acting Chief Inspector Jamie Southwell said: “Items stolen can include expensive sat navs or mobile phones, but often, a passing thief will cause damage to a car just to steal a small amount of change.
“Our advice is never to leave goods on show in your vehicle, no matter what their value is. Motorists will be left counting the cost of the damage to their vehicle for the sake of something inexpensive catching a thief’s eye. We will be out on patrol to stop thieves in their tracks, but we need the public’s help and ask that they follow simple security advice to reduce their chances of being a victim of crime.”