CROOKS struck three times in a matter of hours in Houghton.
Thieves stole front and back registration plates from a Renault Clio, in Caldew Court, Easington Lane, sometime between 9pm on Monday and 4am on Tuesday.
Then, at about 2.30am on Tuesday, a gang tried to seal a Citroen in Cotherstone Court.
When they couldn’t get it started they tried to tow it away using a rope attached to another vehicle, which was burgundy.
The Citroen was left in the road and the would-be thieves fled. Then, at about 6.29am that morning, two men entered a back garden in Hill Terrace in West Herrington, and forced a lock on a parked red Yamaha motorbike.
They pushed the bike across the back yard and made off across a road onto a field.
People were seen nearby in a burgundy vehicle.
Officers are investigating the incidents, which they say may be linked, and are appealing for help from the public.
Police are carrying out house-to-house inquiries and additional officers are on patrol to reassure the community.
Anyone who may have seen or heard anything suspicious, or may have any information which would assist officers, is asked to contact police.
Call 101, extension 69191, quoting log number 139 of 02/12/14 or ring Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.