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Police Warning After Thefts from Unlocked Cars in North Yorkshire

Police car

11:48am 18th June 2013

North Yorkshire Police have issued a fresh warning to motorists to lock their vehicles and remove all valuables following a spate of thefts.

Four out of seven reported crimes of theft from unattended vehicles over the weekend of Friday 14 June, were from unlocked vehicles. In the remaining three thefts, valuables had been left inside the vehicle.

The incidents include:

  • The theft of a handbag in York - taken from the foot-well of an open top convertible   
  • The theft of an iPhone 4 and sat-nav from a vehicle left unlocked in Harrogate.
  • The theft of loose change and a wallet from two vehicles left unlocked in a village near Richmond.
  • A jacket, sunglasses, vehicle log book, and two sat-navs were also stolen from vehicles in Scarborough, York and Great Ayton.

Superintendent Aubrey Smith of Harrogate Safer Neighbourhood Team, said: “Despite our warnings and crime prevention advice, we have investigated a number of thefts recently where valuables have been stolen from inside cars and in some cases, the cars have been left unlocked.

“We may live in the most safest county in the country, but crime still happens.  Criminals are looking for your phones, bags, shopping, sat-navs, even loose change, and if the opportunity is there, they will take it.

“Please help us to help you by taking even the most basic crime prevention measures.”

Supt Smith added: “The same applies to tradesmen who keep valuable power tools in their vehicles. It may be a chore to remove them all at night, but it’s far better to be safe than sorry. Especially when you rely on them for your livelihood."

Most vehicle crime is preventable. It can take as little as 10 seconds for a thief to steal something from your car.

  • Never leave valuable items in your car, including sunglasses, the removable radio cover and your sat-nav. Do you really need all those things you keep in the glove box?
  • Wipe away the sat-nav mark on your windscreen.
  • Consider fitting anti-tamper screws to your number plate.
  • Never leave your car keys where they can be seen from the front door. Find out more about 2-in-1 burglary
  • If you have to leave larger items in your vehicle, make sure they’re hidden from view.


  • Close the windows and sunroof; lock the doors and activate any security devices when leaving your car unattended.
  • Park with care, particularly at night or if you are leaving the vehicle for a long time. If possible, park in a busy, well-lit area.


  • Leave cash, credit cards, cheque book, mobile phones, vehicle documents, handbags, wallets or other valuables in the car.
  • Never leave your keys in the car, even for a second - treat them as you would your cash and credit cards.

To report any suspicious people or vehicles in your neighbourhood, please call the police on 101.

If you see a crime in progress, call 999

If you prefer to remain anonymous, you can pass information to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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