Bird seed and a deck chair are just some of the odd things thieves have stolen from vehicles in the last 12 months.
West Yorkshire Police are urging drivers not to leave anything on display after also revealing that opportunistic thieves had also taken a bag of crisps, an umbrella, and old cups and saucers from vehicles in the region.
Operations are being carried out across the county to crack down on crime and thefts, but Chris Joyce, Force Crime Prevention Officer for West Yorkshire Police, said the public can do its bit to help.
“This type of crime is one that can be easily prevented at no cost whatsoever other than a few seconds of time,” he said.
“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.”
Mr Joyce said that it was “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, remove any equipment or tools from it on leaving it for however short a period of time.
• If you have a garage at home it, but remember to secure your vehicle inside.