Police in Bedfordshire are warning motorists to make sure their cars are locked when left unattended, after a spate of thefts facilitated by poorly secured vehicles.
Officers said around 35 cases of theft from vehicles have been reported in the the Bedford Borough area since the beginning of this month, with items stolen including sat navs, purses, wallets, cash, bank statements, laptops, keys, cameras and mp3 players.
In more than half of these cases the victims admitted they had left their vehicles unsecured, resulting not just in the loss of personal belongings but also the prospect of higher car insurance premiums.
Police have advised drivers to take anti-theft precautions including making sure car windows or sunroofs are shut properly and doors are locked, all alarm systems are activated and no valuables are left inside the parked vehicle.
Lara Curtayne, Crime Reduction Officer, said: "Take the time to try the door handle just to make sure and, of course, never leave anything tempting on view in the car."
Motorists should make sure they park their cars in a well-used, well-lit place and not put belongings in the boot assuming it will be safe there, she said.
© Press Association 2010