Alert after a spate of car crimes

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POLICE are hunting thieves who have broken into 10 cars in the past fortnight to steal drivers’ belongings.

The crooks have targeted the vehicles in the town centre area of Hartlepool, with the first offence being recorded by police on December 15.

Most of the cars have had their windows shattered and then hand bags and satellite navigation systems, which had been left on display in the cars, have been stolen.

Today police launched a two-pronged appeal, firstly that anyone who knows who is responsible for the thefts to come forward with any information they have, and secondly for car owners to remember to remove all valuables from sight.

A spokeswoman for Cleveland Police said: “There have been 10 thefts from motor vehicles since December 15, with nine offences occurring in the Victoria ward area of Hartlepool.

“In the majority of offences windows have been smashed to gain entry, although some vehicles were left insecure.

“Items stolen include handbags and satellite navigation equipment that had been left on display in the vehicles.”

She added: “We would always advise people to remove items from vehicles which could be a target for the thief, in particular handbags and sat nav equipment.

“If possible place your vehicle in a garage overnight or if you have a driveway use this to park your vehicle as close to your home as possible.

“We would also urge anyone who knows who is responsible for these thefts to contact police.”

Anyone with any information should contact police on the non-emergency number 101.

l Satellite navigation mats are available from Atkinson Print, Church Street, through the Hartlepool Crime Prevention Panel for £20, which can be used to mount sat nav equipment on to prevent any tell-tale sucker marks left on the dashboard.

Crime Prevention Officer PC Steve Davies will be at Atkinson Print on Friday, January 11, between 11am and noon to issue crime safety advice.