Give car thieves the boot this Christmas Date published: 13th December 2016 12.06pm

Car thieves on the hunt for more than just stocking fillers are being given the boot this Christmas.

Criminals will be looking out for rich pickings this festive season and all Cheshire Constabulary wants is for motorists not to give them an easy ride.

Whether it's presents left on show in the back seat of a car, or a vehicle left unattended whilst defrosting, thieves won't think twice about putting themselves on the naughty list by stealing whatever they can get their hands on.

Superintendent Kev Bennett, said: "It may be the season of goodwill to all, but thieves don't care and they will be out and about looking for easy targets. Sadly they often find them as people, with lots of other things on their minds, can be easily distracted and leave cars and other valuables unattended.

"Leaving your car unattended – even for just a few minutes – unlocked or with the engine running is an open invitation for someone to jump in and drive off in it. Opportunist thieves will see it as the perfect opportunity to snatch a vehicle – and they will not think twice about doing it. Likewise make sure you keep your presents under wraps this Christmas whilst you’re out and about shopping – and make sure they are not left on view on the back seat.

"People think these sorts of things will never happen to them but it could happen to anyone and we want you to remain security conscious and do everything you can to reduce the risk of being targeted by thieves. We are doing all we can to tackle car crime this Christmas, targeting offenders and keeping people safe, but we need the continued support of drivers. There are some simple steps that can be taken to make sure that would-be criminals do not get everything on their wish-list."

Drivers are reminded to:

  • Never leave cars unattended with the engine running – it only takes a minute for a thief to jump in and drive off.
  • Don't leave valuables on display in your car – this is an open invitation to thieves.
  • Don't be tempted to return to your vehicle with bags full of shopping or presents and then leave them on the back seat while you return to the shops.
  • Always park in a well-lit area and be aware of your surroundings as you leave and return to your car.
  • If you see anyone or anything suspicious report it to police immediately.

Police & Crime Commissioner for Cheshire, David Keane, said: "It is important that we all stay safe this Christmas and keep our eyes peeled in case of any suspicious activity whilst out and about during the festive period. By taking some simple precautions you can help to prevent yourself from becoming a victim so I would encourage everyone to read and listen to the advice from the Constabulary this Christmas. Officers on the frontline will be working hard over the festive period ensuring they’re on hand if you need them and helping to keep you safe."

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter to see our messages on how to stay safe and prevent crime. Here’s our latest video focusing on car crime.

For more information on keeping your car – and the contents inside – safe and secure visit the roads and vehicle safety section of the Cheshire Police website.

Anyone with any information about car crime is urged to call Cheshire Constabulary on 101 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.