From bird seed to old cups – thieves really will steal anything

Police are reminding motorists not to leave their Satnav in their cars after a spate of thefts
Police are reminding motorists not to leave their Satnav in their cars after a spate of thefts

Drivers have been warned that they could have their cars broken into for literally anything they leave on show, after police revealed a top five of strange items stolen from vehicles.

West Yorkshire Police are urging drivers not to put temptation in the way of opportunist thieves following the thefts of items such as a pack of bird seed and a bag of crisps!

Officers have warned that leaving any property at all on show could potentially attract the attention of an opportunist thief, who may decide to take a closer look at what else may be inside your vehicle.

More unusual items taken from cars included a deck chair, old cups and saucers and an umbrella.

It is extremely important that all items are removed from your vehicle on leaving it unoccupied whether parking at a public car park, on street or outside of your home.

Tips which drivers can follow to protect their property and deter thieves include:

Never leave a car door unlocked or a window or a sunroof open, even at a petrol station or outside of a shop.

Remove everything from your car on leaving it unoccupied, including route finders, mobile phones, wallets/purses, money, CD’s, clothing, personal computers and documentation.

Satellite navigation system holders should not be left attached to the windscreen, as this advertises the fact that you may have a device, and don’t forget to wipe the suction marks off the windscreen when you remove it.

If you use your vehicle for business purposes, please remove any equipment or tools from it on leaving it for however short a period of time.

Chris Joyce, Force Crime Prevention Officer for West Yorkshire Police, said: “This type of crime is one that can be easily prevented at no cost whatsoever other than a few seconds of time. The consequences of not removing items from your vehicle on leaving it unoccupied can be very upsetting and frustrating. Not having the use of your vehicle whilst it is being repaired can have a significant impact on your day to day life, both on a personal and professional level, and this is in addition to having something stolen from you needlessly.

“It’s very easy to think ‘it won’t happen to me’ or ‘I’ll pop back out to the car to get my stuff later’, but later may be too late. It takes seconds to remove items from your vehicle and lock it, the same amount of time it takes a thief to steal them. Crime prevention is everyone’s business and it’s vital that we do all that we can to reduce the opportunity for crime to occur.”

West Yorkshire Police is also currently proactively targeting known car thieves as part of the Operation Viper crackdown on crime and thefts across the county. Viper operations have seen specialist officers from areas such as West Yorkshire’s Pro team up with officers at a neighbourhood level and partners to target criminals making residents lives a misery in communities.

Raids and operations by Viper teams are ongoing and are focussed on disrupting West Yorkshire’s most prolific criminals.