Thursday 5 July 2012
Police are hoping South Nottinghamshire residents can help in the fight against car crime.
Thieves have been targeting vehicles in the Gedling and Rushcliffe areas of the county, namely West Bridgford, Carlton, Gedling, and Arnold, in a bid to steal in-built satellite navigation units and stereos.
Audi cars are proving to be the most popular target, with thieves often smashing windows to get inside.
Since 27 May 2012 there have been 15 reported thefts of this kind from Audis in the Gedling and Rushcliffe areas.
Rushcliffe Inspector Phil Hallam said: “The theft of things like sat navs from cars is traditionally an issue due to the nature of their portability. This problem is being exacerbated however by a more recent trend in which thieves are lifting the entire in-built sat nav and stereo console from vehicles, Audis in particular.
“Being that they are such tailored pieces of kit, we are finding that motorists are being targeted more than once, leading to major inconvenience and expense, not to mention frustration.
“They can cost thousands of pounds to replace, and that’s before you add on the cost to repair windows and fittings, and the increase in insurance premiums.
“The thieves would be lucky to get a fraction of that when they sell them on.”
“We are linking in with Audi on the matter, but in the meantime we urge motorists to be vigilant against thieves, as well as diligent about the security of their car.”
Follow these tips to reduce your chance of falling victim to a thief:
· Always ensure your car is locked and the windows are closed when unattended.
· Do not leave valuable items, including power leads, in the vehicle and, where possible, leave the glove box open and the boot parcel shelf off to show there is nothing of worth inside.
· Keep your vehicle in a locked garage, otherwise park it in a busy, well-lit area.
· Consider marking items like satellite navigation units and stereos with a forensic etching system or liquid, such as SmartWater, and record them on a property register, such as at www.immobilise.com <http://www.immobilise.com>
People are also being urged to report any unsolicited approaches to buy satellite navigation units or stereos of this kind.
Inspector Hallam said: “To put a stop to this type of exasperating theft, we need to find out how and where thieves are profiting from their crime and close that avenue down.
“Are they selling them online? Are they exploiting the second-hand market? If anyone has any information please call us.”
To report suspicious activity or anyone with information about the perpetrators is asked to contact Nottinghamshire Police on 101 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.