In the run up to Easter Surrey Police is advising residents to lock their vehicles and keep their property safe as they enjoy the festive break.
Police in North Surrey are urging motorists to remain vigilant and ensure their cars and vans are secured following several recent thefts from vehicles in Elmbridge and Runnymede.
Simple measures can be taken to avoid falling victim to opportunist thieves. Even if you are only leaving your vehicle for a short time, cash, mobiles, laptops and handbags can all be taken in a minute
Surrey Police has received several reports of vehicles being broken into during the last couple of weeks.
On Monday, 4 March at approximately 7.45pm two vehicles were broken into at a car park on London Road in Virginia Water. A grey Land Rover was targeted and a laptop was stolen (RM/13/1122) and a grey saloon BMW was broken into and a wallet, laptop and a leather satchel taken. (RM/13/1121)
On Wednesday, 13 March an attempted theft of a vehicle parked in Broomfield Court, Weybridge occurred between 7.30am and 6pm although nothing was taken. (EL/13/1599)
A hire car was broken into on Tuesday, 19 March at 8pm on The Hythe, Staines and a work laptop stolen (RM/13/1395) followed by an incident in Virginia Water on Thursday, 21 March between 8pm and 9.30pm when a black BMW parked in London Road was targeted and a mini i-pad was stolen. RM/13/1397
Shortly afterwards on Friday, 22 March thieves stole various items, including a handbag from a blue Peugeot 206 parked on Church Road, East Molesey at approximately 3.15pm and three young men on bikes were seen using the credit cards shortly after the incident. The first man was described as wearing a light blue hooded top with a dark coat over the top carrying a JD sports bag. The second was dressed all in black and the third was wearing green jogging bottoms and a dark coloured top. (EL/13/1816)
Crime Reduction Manager, Liane Jarman said: “Just by taken a few simple measures motorists can prevent themselves from having their vehicles broken into and valuables stolen. We advise vehicle owners to take all valuable items with them or at least keep them out of public view and remove temptation for thieves.
“Drivers should always lock their vehicle securely and make sure all alarms and other security devices are working correctly.
“Leaving vehicles insecure and unattended, particularly on residential driveways, is an open invitation for car thieves and the public can reduce the risk of theft by remaining vigilant and taking sensible security precautions.
“Neighbourhood officers are increasing patrols in the areas where the offences have been taking place but we need residents to support our efforts by not leaving valuable items in their vehicles and making sure they lock their cars and vans overnight.
“I would also urge any residents in Runnymede and Elmbridge, who have seen any suspicious activity to report it to police immediately.”
Other simple measures vehicle owners can take to drastically reduce their chances of becoming a victim of vehicle crime are:
• Lock the doors, windows and boot every time you leave your vehicle.
• Use the vehicle’s security devices.
• Lock the car and remove your keys from the ignition at petrol stations. Keep the keys with you.
• Portable navigation systems are easy to remove from vehicles. Never leave the equipment on the dashboard when you leave the car but take it with you, together with the support cradle and suction pads.
• Wipe away any suction pad marks left on the windscreen or dashboard as thieves will keep an eye out for these. Don’t leave the equipment in the glove compartment or boot – these are the first places thieves will look.
• Keep a note of the make, model and serial number of the equipment somewhere safe – not in the car.
• Use car parks that are part of the police-approved Safer Parking Scheme. Approved car parks display the official ‘Park Mark’TM sign. For details, visit: http://www.saferparking.com
• Members of the public should call the police if they see anyone acting suspiciously near vehicles.
Anyone with any information about the recent offences should call Surrey Police on 101 or independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.