POLICE patrols have been stepped up in the Duchy Road and Cold Bath Road area of Harrogate to target car thieves.
Both are to be the focus of a new police operation after a 75 per cent rise in the number of thefts from vehicles.
Police said that in the past month a number of cars have been broken into, with thieves using bricks to smash the windows before stealing the contents.
Insp Will Scarlett, of Harrogate Safer Neighbourhood Team, said: “We are asking people to be vigilant and ensure that they remove all valuables from their vehicles when parking them up for the night.
“Don’t leave items which are tempting to thieves on display, in particular items such as sat-navs, iPods and laptops, which they are especially attracted to.”
Police said that between December 1 and January 17, the Harrogate area saw 40 such offences - a 75 per cent rise on the previous year.
They have now launched Operation Umbrage to warn residents about leaving valuables on display and provide a visible police presence to deter potential thieves.
Officers on patrol will be checking vehicles for valuables, sending letters to car owners who are not taking care to keep their property out of sight.
Police are also working with Harrogate District Community Safety Partnership to distribute mirror hangers stating: ‘There is nothing in the vehicle to steal’.
Insp Scarlett said: “We are doing what we can by increasing patrols and offering crime prevention advice, however the public can do their bit too, by making life difficult for thieves and not leaving valuables on display.
“I would also encourage people to register their property with the National Mobile Property Register. It is a free-to-use website and helps us reunite stolen property with its rightful owner as quickly as possible.”
For more details visit www.immobilise.com. For more information about Operation Umbrage or general crime prevention advice contact Insp Will Scarlett or Sgt Tim Craven, of Harrogate Safer Neighbourhood Team, on 0845 6060247.