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As cold bites police warn motorists

Police are warning motorists to be careful Credit: PA

As the cold snap continues Merseyside Police is warning motorists not to leave their keys in the ignition following a number of vehicle thefts during the recent cold snap. Thieves have targeted vehicles left running but unattended in many parts of the county - most recently cars left insecure while owners de-iced the windscreen, warmed the car interior, opened driveway gates or even went back inside their house have been stolen in Childwall, Mossley Hill and Allerton.

All the offences have happened early in the morning, usually when the owner is preparing to drive to work and has gone back into their house to get something.

Merseyside Police has issued the following advice to avoid becoming a victim of car thieves:

• Never leave your vehicle unattended with the engine running. Offenders watch and wait to see who does this, especially on cold and frosty mornings when heaters are left on to defrost the vehicle and warm the cabin • Consider using a windscreen cover to stop it freezing over in the first place • Never leave car keys in the ignition or within reach of your front door or letter box • If possible, park in a secure garage overnight or in well-lit area outside your house • When locking the car make sure that any security devices are activated and don't leave valuables on show inside

" During the recent cold snap there have been a number of thefts of vehicles where they had been left unlocked and unattended with their engine running. Even left like this for a few seconds can present a thief with a opportunity to steal your car and everything inside it. We don’t want anyone else to suffer at the hands of opportunistic criminals who are profiting from what is actually a highly preventable crime. Neighbourhood officers will be patrolling hot-spot areas to deter criminals from operating there and raise awareness amongst residents about what they can do to help stop it. We know that its tempting when it’s cold to leave your engine running while you do other things before your journey. But these shortcuts leave your car vulnerable to theft and may also invalidate your insurance.".

– Detective Inspector Ian Warlow, Liverpool CID

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