Be vigilant warn police following another spate of car thefts

DESPITE the best effort of police officers to raise awareness, Uttlesford has been hit by another spate of thefts from vehicles.

Thieves are targeting cars parked on driveways and on the street in their attempts to steal valuable items that have been left inside the vehicle overnight. Many of the cars that thieves had entered had been left insecure, making it even easier for the crimes to be committed.

Uttlesford’s Crime Reduction Advisor (CRA), Peter Caulfield, warns that vehicle owners have a lot more to lose than just their possessions.

“It’s not just about the inconvenience of losing physical items such as your Sat Nav or wallet; these thefts can have very serious implications,” he said.

“Stolen cameras usually mean stolen memories; pictures that you will never get to see again, and the theft of purses and wallets can lead to identity theft and phantom debts that can be hard to prove are not yours. Stolen phones put all your contacts at risk of fraud and burglary as well as possibly implicating you if the phone is used for criminal purposes.

“From national newspaper coverage we know that the loss of a company laptop, for example, could quickly find you subject to very severe disciplinary sanctions. The effect of that on your family and your financial security could be devastating. Don’t think it can’t happen to you, it can!”

CRA Caulfield is concerned that many owners still leave valuable possessions in their cars, despite frequent reminders in the press and via Neighbourhood Watch. “I realise that modern life can be rushed and full of distractions, but I also believe there is still a lot of complacency out there. It only takes seconds for you to take your possessions with you, just as it only takes seconds for someone to steal them. The message is simple: Empty your vehicle and lock it! “

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Anyone requiring further security advice should contact Essex Police on 101 and ask for their district Crime Reduction Officer.