Lock it or lose it

16 Jan 2015 10:00 AM

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Police are reminding motorists to lock it or lose it after a spate of thefts in an area of North Tyneside.

Officers have received recent reports of thefts from cars in Whitley Bay, Monkseaton, Shiremoor, Cullercoats and West Allotment - with the majority of vehicles left insecure.

Expensive property including sat navs, laptops and mobile phones have been stolen along with other items left unattended in the cars.

Police are reminding motorists to ensure they take time to lock their vehicles.

The advice is part of the force's Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner supported Operation Soundwave, aimed at tackling opportunist thieves and burglars across the force, and promoting crime prevention advice.

Neighbourhood Inspector Jim Gray said: "The common theme amongst this spate of thefts is that vehicles have been left insecure with expensive property left on display or in easy to reach places.

"It only takes a thief a few seconds to reach into an unlocked car and steal something left lying on the seat or in the glovebox. These are sometimes items worth hundreds of pounds and the loss can be expensive not to mention disruptive, to the owner.

"And there is a chance an insurance company may not pay out if the vehicle has been left insecure.

"It's important people take a few moments when leaving their vehicles to make sure windows are wound up and all doors are locked, and that nothing is left on view. Anything valuable should be removed from the car if possible, or stored in the boot.

"And try to park in secure car parks or well lit areas.

"We're doing everything we can to identify thieves in the area and extra patrols are taking place at key times to deter thieves. By taking some crime prevention steps people can reduce their risk of falling victim to an opportunist thief."

The Commissioner Vera Baird said: "I hope people living in Whitley Bay, Monkseaton, Shiremoor, Cullercoats and West Allotment take the opportunity of speaking to their local officers about crime prevention and anything they see which is suspicious.

"Together we can help tackle the actions of a minority of people who will take any opportunity to take property which does not belong to them."

For more crime prevention information visit , while people are urged to sign up to free property register Immobilise at

It's also vital residents report anything suspicious to police straight away so they can investigate. Police can be called on 101, or to report a crime ongoing dial 999.