POLICE in Tamworth are reminding residents to be vigilant around locking their vehicles and not storing valuables in them.
The advice follows a number of incidents in the town and the charging of a local man, Adam Meer for multiple offences.
He was arrested and then charged with multiple counts of interfering with a motor vehicle on Cheviot and Darnbrook in Stonydelph on 10 January and has been bailed with conditions to appear at Cannock Magistrates’ Court on 17 February.
It follows a number of incidents between Christmas and New Year where vehicle thefts, the taking of items from within vehicles and criminal damage occurred between 28 December 2020 and 4 January.
A safety reminder was also issued in early December 2020 after a Luis Vuitton purse worth up to £450 was taken from an unlocked car parked on a driveway on Zennor in Amington overnight between 8 December and 9 December.
Sergeant Anthony Wilson of Staffordshire Police’s Neighbourhood Policing Team for Tamworth, said:
“Following the arrest and charging of Adam Meer we are once again reminding people to be vigilant when It comes to keeping their vehicles secure when they are not with them.
“We again urge people to please ensure they lock their vehicles – especially overnight – and to ensure that valuables are not stored inside them. If they do leave items like sat navs in their vehicles overnight then people are reminded to ensure they are stored out of sight and not to leave evidence of them being inside such as suction cap marks on windscreens from sat nav or mobile phone holders.
“We will continue to pro-actively seek out those who wish to inflict crime on their communities, but we also need residents’ help in preventing it.”
You will also find some helpful tips below.
How to keep your vehicle safe
1. 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. So get into the habit of locking your vehicle even if you’re only going to be away from it for a moment.
2. Close windows and the sunroof 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.
3. 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.
4. 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.
5. 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. For further information and advice, visit Sold SecureExternal Link.
6. 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.
7. 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 devices 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.
8. 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 securedbydesign.com 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.
9. Park in well-lit and busier areas
It can take less than 30 seconds to break into a vehicle. Parking in well-lit areas and busy streets increases the chances of a thief being seen, so they’ll probably steer clear.
10. Take your documents with you
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.
11. Choose your car park wisely
If possible, always try to park in well-lit and staffed car parks or those with a Park Mark safer parking award. To find one, simply check out Park Mark.