MOTORISTS across Airdrie and Coatbridge have suffered after a recent spate of vehicle thefts.
Now police are reminding drivers never to leave valuables on display to opportunist thieves and to ensure that their cars are always securely locked.
Constable Gillian Forrester, of the community safety department at Coatbridge police office, said: “Try to minimise the risk by removing such items from your vehicle, particularly if they are visible to passers-by.
“Never leave a door unlocked or a window or sunroof open – even when just going into a shop for a moment or two.
“Don’t leave any belongings in your car, as a thief won’t know that a bag or coat doesn’t contain something valuable and might break a window to get at it.
“If you can’t take things with you, never leave them on display – lock them in the boot, and always remove your stereo and satellite navigation system if you can.
“Whether removable or not, all equipment should be marked visibly and permanently with the vehicle registration number.
“Remove the ignition key and engage the steering lock, even when parking in your own driveway or garage, and don’t forget to lock the garage door.
“Always try to park in a well-lit, open location, double-check that doors, windows, sunroof and boot are locked before leaving, and put your aerial down to stop it being vandalised.”
Constable Forrester also offered further advice for drivers who have sat-nav devices in their vehicles.
She said: “If you are considering purchasing such a system, consider a PDA (hand-held) version that you can remove easily.
“Make sure you disconnect your sat-nav every time you leave your car and take it with you, and remove the suction-mounted fitting from the windscreen as this gives thieves a strong indication that the car has a device which may still be hidden somewhere inside.
“Keep a note of your sat-nav's serial number and any other portable equipment you may have, and keep the information in a safe place in case the device is stolen.
“Consider registering your system with a tracking agency, and think about helping your community by starting a Neighbourhood Watch scheme.”
l ANYONE with information on these or any other crimes is asked to contact Airdrie police office on 01236 505100, Coatbridge police office on 01236 502000, or Crimestoppers, free an anonymously, on 0800 555 111.