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Don't make your vehicle an easy target for thieves

Dorset Police is encouraging motorists to take simple steps to reduce the chances of their vehicles being broken into.

There has been a recent increase in the number of thefts from vehicles across Dorset so officers are reminding motorists of simple measures they should be taking to ensure their vehicles are not easy targets for thieves.

The number of thefts from vehicles in Dorset has increased by 12.3% so far this operational year – from 1 April 2012 to 27 January 2013 – when compared to the same period last year. This is an increase of 355 offences.

People visiting Dorset’s beauty spots are encouraged to be particularly careful when leaving their vehicles. Between 1 and 27 January 2013 there have been 13 reported break-ins to cars parked at beauty spot locations across Dorset – including rural car parks in Cerne Abbas, Bridport, Blandford, Wimborne and Wareham.

Chief Inspector Jared Parkin said: “Following a recent increase in vehicles being broken into, I’m encouraging motorists to take simple steps to reduce the chances of thieves targeting their cars.

“It sounds simple, but the main thing I’d encourage motorists to do is to make sure they leave their vehicles securely locked. We are seeing lots of vehicles being broken into that were not even locked.

“Also, don’t leave valuables or items like handbags, purses and wallets in your car when it’s parked – either on display or hidden away.”

Lance Cliff, Christchurch Neighbourhood Inspector, said: “In Christchurch, we’ve seen that some cars are being broken into even when they are parked on the owner’s driveway.

“So please make sure your vehicle is left securely locked and don’t leave any valuable items in it, even when it’s parked on your own property.

“Also, we’ve seen an increase in the number of vans being broken into in the Christchurch area recently.

“I would encourage tradespeople not to leave expensive tools and materials in their vans, even if they are securely locked.”

Businesses that use vans, trucks or lorries should also take steps to reduce the chances of having diesel stolen from them.

Ideally, these vehicles should be parked inside buildings or in a secure compound overnight. Also, leave as little fuel as possible in these vehicles when they are left unattended and use lockable fuel caps.

Advice to motorists:

  • Valuable items and shopping should not be left in cars, either in view or hidden away
  • Windows and doors should always be securely locked when vehicles are left
  • Sat navs should not be left in cars and their holders and cables should not be left on display
  • Ensure that sat nav holder marks are not left visible on the windscreen
  • If a vehicle has an alarm, always use it – even if the vehicle is only going to be left for a short period of time