Sunderland urging motorists are being urged to lock out opportunist thieves after a spate of break-ins after cars were left unlocked.
The most-targeted property are mobile phones and sat navs, but thieves are also making off with loose change and other small pickings that happen to be left on display.
Officers are carrying out regular patrols in the affected areas to help prevent any further offences and catch those responsible.
Neighbourhood Inspector Jamie Southwell said: "Proactive policing operations are underway to deter, target and apprehend thieves intent on stealing from cars.
"However, we do need the public's help to combat this type of crime.
"There's not only the inconvenience of a break-in to a personal car, but also the expense of repairing any damage.
"When a commercial van is targeted for tools and other equipment, this can impact hugely on a small business.
"It's not only the cost of the stolen equipment, it's also the time lost at work.
"I would urge people to take the time to assess the security of their vehicle - when you leave it make sure to lock it, take all valuables with you and leave nothing on display.
"It only takes a few moments to double check the vehicle is locked but could help prevent a car from being targeted."
"By taking crime prevention steps, together with our continued enforcement activity and patrols we can continue to reduce car crime across the area."
For more crime prevention advice visit Northumbria Police website www.northumbria.police.uk.