Officers from Northumbria Police are asking the public to stay vigilant and take extra steps to help keep their vehicles and belongings safe.
The warning comes after a spate of incidents across the Northumbria Police force area where vehicle owners have had valuables and sentimental items stolen.
Some of the reports have occurred after people have left their doors or windows open and opportunistic thieves have taken advantage of the situation, while others have seen cars damaged after thieves break-in in order to steal items left on show.
These thieves can strike anywhere so officers are asking all vehicle owners to take simple measures to help prevent themselves becoming a victim of crime.
Neighbourhood Inspector Phil Patterson, from Northumbria Police, has previously reminded the public to stay vigilant and don’t aid thieves by leaving doors unlocked.
Insp Patterson said: “We see this a lot, thieves trying the doors of every car on a street, including those parked on driveways, in the hope that they find one unlocked.
“We need the public to not only take valuables inside with them and keep keys away from the front door, but also take extra time to check windows and doors are locked, as thieves will still try doors even if no valuables are on show.“
“We are also asking all victims to report incidents to police as we believe some incidents may be going unreported. Even if nothing has been taken but you know someone has searched your car or taken spare change, it still helps us paint a wider intelligence picture and can help us proactively target suspects.
“We will continue to take action against anybody we suspect involved in this type of criminality and a visible policing presence will continue to patrol in targeted areas to offer reassurance to the public.
“Our message is simple – we will not tolerate it, and we are taking action – so thieves be warned.”
Anyone who sees anything suspicious in their area is asked to contact police via the Report an Incident page of our website. In an emergency always dial 999.
For more advice on crime prevention visit the Northumbria Police website.