Police warn Bishop Auckland motorists to protect valuables or risk losing them (From The Advertiser Series)
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Police warn Bishop Auckland motorists to protect valuables or risk losing them
MOTORISTS are facing an early morning wake-up call from police if they leave valuables on show.
In the last six weeks, 23 vehicles have been broken into in and around the Bishop Auckland area and officers say most of these could have been avoided if the owners had removed items from view and locked the doors.
Bishop Auckland Neighbourhood Inspector Martin Peace has now instructed his officers to get in touch with motorists leaving valuables on show, even if that means waking people up in the middle of the night.
A laptop computer, a brief case, satellite navigation equipment, cash and car keys were among items stolen after they were left on view in vehicles that had been left unlocked.
Insp Peace said owners should be aware that insurance policies do not cover property in vehicles which have not been left secure.
He added these crimes are unnecessary and make work for officers when they could be dealing with something else.
“There are certain areas in the south of the county where residents seem complacent about vehicle security and have become victims as a result,” he said. “These people not only risk pushing up their own insurance premiums but also those of other drivers in the area.
“County Durham continues to be one of the safest places in the country to live and work. Overall crime has fallen in the south of the county and we want that to continue, but if people leave items on show and within easy reach they risk becoming a victim of an opportunist thief.”
Police officers and PCSOs carrying out community patrols as part of Operation Hawkeye will be on the lookout for premises and vehicles that appear insecure.
“If an officer comes across an insecure vehicle containing items clearly on show and at risk of being stolen late at night or in the early hours of the morning, they will alert the owner which could mean a very early morning call for someone,” said Insp Peace.
A number of arrests have been made and enquiries are ongoing.
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