Hartlepool drivers warned about leaving engines running after a spate of thefts

Merlin Way. Image courtesy of Google.
Merlin Way. Image courtesy of Google.

What is your vehicle worth?

Officers are asking “what is your car worth?” after two further reports of vehicles being stolen from driveways whilst left unattended with the engine running to de-ice this morning.

A white Honda estate was stolen from a property on Merlin Way in Hartlepool at around 6.50am and a white Seat Ibiza was taken from a property on Bedford Road in Middlesbrough at around 8am.

Seven vehicles have now been stolen throughout January and February period in the same circumstances. Two vehicles were stolen in Stockton and Middlesbrough in January and last week three vehicles were stolen in Eaglescliffe, Ingleby Barwick and Hartburn.

Chief Superintendent Glenn Gudgeon: “What is a vehicle worth? It takes only a few minutes to stand at your vehicle whilst it is de-icing. It’s something which could possibly be one of the most expensive purchases you’ll ever make and some people are willing to risk leaving it for an opportunist thief to steal. Criminals are out actively looking for opportunities to steal vehicles when it’s cold and icy outside, as they know they might get lucky and be able to take a car in seconds whilst it’s unattended.

“People seem to think it won’t happen to them, but there have been seven vehicles stolen in exactly the same circumstances since January. Our message to anyone who takes the risk is that it could happen to you. It’s a huge risk – it’s worth getting up five minutes earlier to stand with the car whilst it warms up.

“Taking the risk also means that your insurance could be invalid and you could be left thousands of pounds out of pocket if it’s stolen. Please don’t leave a vehicle unattended with the engine running.”

Anyone with information regarding the theft of the seven vehicles is asked to contact Cleveland Police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or www.crimestoppers-uk.org.