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Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Police warn over thefts from vehicles

Llangollen residents have been warned to be on their guard following a number of thefts from vehicles over the weekend in Denbighshire and Conwy.

Locally, tools were stolen from the rear of an unlocked works van.

Community safety inspector Julie Sheard of North Wales Police said vehicles were also broken into in Kinmel Bay, Prestatyn, Colwyn Bay and Llandudno Junction with sat navs, a handbag and items of clothing being taken.

In Moel Fammau, a holdall was stolen from the boot of insecure vehicle and in Loggerheads car park, a window was smashed and a handbag and rucksack stolen.

Inpector Sheard said: “We are working tirelessly in our efforts to make vehicle owners understand the importance of removing valuable items from their car or as a minimum, removing them from view.

“The majority of these crimes are completely avoidable. A significant number of reported crimes to the police involve either unlocked vehicles, items on display inside the car or a combination of both.”

Inspector Sheard said that five catalytic convertors and one exhaust were also stolen from vehicles in the Denbighshire area.

She said that if you run a petrol car you need to be aware of the risk of catalytic converter theft, particularly if your car has large ground clearance.

Thieves are targeting catalysts – located in the exhaust system under the vehicle – because of the high value of the precious metals they contain. In these harder times and with precious metal prices rising steadily, the demand for parts that contain them is rising. As a result, the risk of theft of catalytic converters is on the increase again.

Police advise that to reduce the risk:

* Garage your car whenever possible
* Park in well-lit busy areas.
* Look out for people working under cars
* If the car's high risk consider marking the metal shell of the converter with a unique mark, so that if it is removed by thieves it will be easier to trace back to your vehicle.

Inspector Sheard added: “We are urging vehicle owners to simply be alive to the risk. Never leave items of value on display, even while leaving the vehicle for a short time. Any item could tempt a thief. If there’s nothing on show, it removes any temptation for the opportunist passer by to break in to your vehicle to steal items.”

“North Wales Police takes vehicle crime very seriously and we will do everything we can to bring offenders to justice.

"A video produced by North Wales Police featuring a former thief is being used to warn vehicle owners of the dangers of leaving valuables on display.

“I would encourage people to watch this video. It is hard hitting and would make anyone think twice”.

If you know of someone who is committing car crime, or involved with the selling of stolen goods, contact North Wales Police on the non-emergency number 101, or 0300 330 0101. Alternatively, contact Crimestoppers Wales anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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