Sunderland drivers warned to look after possessions

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MOTORISTS in Sunderland are being reminded that if they ‘leave it on show, it will go’.

The warning comes after an increase in theft from vehicles and vehicle interference over the last month in the Houghton, Fencehouses and Chilton Moor areas.

In the majority of incidents, thieves have forced locks to steal goods from inside. In the main, offenders have made off with sat navs.

In the Sunderland West area, further thefts from vehicles have been reported overnight between Friday and Saturday morning with goods on show being stolen.

Officers are patrolling the areas to deter and target thieves, but are asking the public to do their bit to avoid becoming a victim of crime.

The request also comes as Northumbria Police continues to silence criminals responsible for crimes such as theft as part of Operation Soundwave.

Sunderland West Neighbourhood Inspector, Lisa Laverick, said: “We do have officers in the area where we know thieves are operating but we need the public’s help to reduce the number of vehicle break-ins.

“Leaving valuables on display in an empty vehicle lets thieves know there is something worthwhile for them to steal.

“Our advice is never leave valuable items on display, when you leave the vehicle unattended and always make sure doors are locked and windows are closed, even if your only leaving the vehicle for a short time.

“If you have a sat nav, take it with you when leaving your car and remove the fittings plus wipe away any tell tale suction marks from the windscreen.

“Parking your car in a well lit place or secure car park where possible can also help.

“Those responsible for these thefts should be aware that police are actively targeting them to stop their offending and put them before the courts.

“The public can help by not only taking a few simple crime prevention measures but also by reporting anything suspicious or out of the ordinary they see in their community.”

Police are also urging people to register valuable items on the national property database Immobilise at Items registered on the site can be returned to the owner if they are stolen and later recovered by police.

To report information to police ring 101 - if a crime is taking place or in an emergency ring 999.

Further crime prevention advice is available on the Northumbria Police website