Police issue advice as thieves target cars overnight in Milton Keynes

    Thames Valley Police have issued advice after seeing an increase in thieves targeting vehicles in Milton Keynes.

    The local police force say they are aware of an increase of vehicles having items removed from them in the early hours from various areas around Milton Keynes.

    Thames Valley Police have now issued the following advice to help protect more residents from falling victim:

    Reporting

    • If you see anyone trying car door handles etc., call 999 if they are on site and trying the access the vehicle.
    • If you discover your vehicle has been broken into, please call 101 or use the online reporting system and let Thames Valley Police know if you have CCTV, Dashcam or Doorbell footage, as they can send you a link to upload the footage it to us.

    Crime Prevention Information

    • Always lock it
    • Fuelling up or popping back into your house to get something are perfect examples of how easy it is to turn your back for a moment and forget your vehicle is unsecured.
    • If your vehicle has wing mirrors that fold in automatically when locked, make sure you lock it properly. Criminal gangs are looking for vehicles like these where the wing mirrors are still out because it is clear to them that the vehicle has been left unlocked.
    • Close windows and the sun roof to prevent ‘fishing’
    • Leaving windows and the sunroof open invites fishing for items through the gap by hand or with, say, a bent coat hanger, which could also be used to unlock a door for them to get in. Thieves can be ingenious. Don’t give them the opportunity.
    • Secure your number plates with tamper-resistant screws
    • The easiest way to change the identity of a stolen vehicle or avoid speeding tickets and parking tickets is to fit stolen number plates. Using security screws to attach your vehicle’s number plates makes it harder for thieves to get your number.
    • Fit locking, anti-tamper wheel nuts to secure alloy wheels
    • Stolen wheels are valuable, either as parts or for their scrap value. Using locking wheel nuts reduces the risk of your vehicle’s wheels being stolen.
    • Secure anything that’s on the outside of your vehicle
    • Anything left on roof-racks, tailgate racks, holiday top boxes or in tool chests are easily stolen when the vehicle is parked. The use of cable locks, padlocks and self-locking tools chests, which are secured to the vehicle, makes them more secure, but still, don’t leave things in them if you can avoid it.

    Take it with you or hide it

    • Your mobile phone, coins for the car park, sunglasses, packs of medication or other items that can earn quick cash are irresistible to the opportunist thief. Remember, the cost of replacing a window is often much more than that of what’s stolen. And it should go without saying that wallets, handbags, purses and credit cards should never be left in an unattended vehicle.
    • Hide electrical items and leave no clues
    • Leaving sat nav mounts, suction cup marks on windows or cables on view gives it away that you have left a Sat Nav, smartphone or other device in your car. Even if they can’t see the Sat Nav or iPad they might still break in to see if it’s stored in the car, out of sight.

    Tool theft from vans

    • Vans are often targeted by thieves for the tools stored inside. If you have to leave tools in a van overnight, it's a good idea to mark them clearly with your name / company name and address using paint pens and seal with a clear lacquer spray.
    • Alternatively, you can use a variety of other property marking systems. Items that are clearly marked are less desirable and more difficult to sell on.
    • Consider using a lockable cabinet within your van to store tools – a number of security rated products are available. Small cameras are also designed to record inside vehicles. Visit Secured by Design for more details.
    • You can also take photographs of items of value, make a note of the serial numbers and consider registering them online at a property register site.

    Having a vehicle’s registration and insurance documents could let a thief pretend to be the owner. Which means they could sell it on quite easily. So, never leave any documents in the vehicle.

    If you don’t want to speak directly to police you can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 or here, personal details are taken, information is not traced or recorded and you will not go to court.

    If you don’t want to speak directly to police you can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555  personal details are taken, information is not traced or recorded and you will not go to court.

    You can also email MKNHWatch@thamesvalley.police.uk for further information and advice.

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