Warning after thefts of cars left de-icing on driveways

Police in Devon are warning drivers about leaving their cars de-icing on their driveway after a series of thefts.

An investigation has been launched following reports of unattended vehicles being stolen during the recent icy conditions.

Two cars that were unattended with their engines running whilst the cars de-iced were stolen from private driveways, and another two vehicles also with their engines running were taken from a garage forecourt.

Officers from the Roads Policing Team at Devon & Cornwall Police are now seeking the public’s help in locating the following stolen cars:

  • Red VW T-Roc Reg: WJ20 XUR

  • White Peugeot 3008 Reg: DA68 HLG.

  • Silver BMW X1 Estate Reg: KM18 KNH

  • Black BMW 520 Reg: BJ18TDB

The first report was received at around 7am on Tuesday 16th January where a vehicle had been taken from Totnes Road in Newton Abbot.

Two unknown people were seen on the driveway when the car was taken.

Officers are carrying out searches for the vehicle which was a five-door red VW T-Roc with registration WJ20 XUR.

Police received a further report at around 8.10am to reports that a vehicle had been taken from a property in Tedburn St Mary.

An unknown person took the car and drove off. The vehicle was a five-door white Peugeot 3008 with registration DA68 HLG.

Anyone with information on this incident is asked to contact police quoting log 152 16/01/24.

Police were then called at around 8.30am to Half Moon Village in Newton St Cyres, following reports that two vehicles had been taken from a garage forecourt.

The vehicles were a silver BMW X1 Estate index KM18 KNH, and a four-door black BMW 520 index BJ18TDB. They had also been left unattended on the forecourt with the engines running in an attempt to de-ice the cars. 

Officers and a police helicopter carried out searches for the vehicles which were seen driving on the A377 towards Exeter.

Anyone with information on this incident is asked to contact police quoting log 173 16/01/24.

Chief Inspector Simon Jenkinson, of the Roads Policing Team at Devon & Cornwall Police, said: “Earlier today, Devon and Cornwall Police received several reports of stolen vehicles in and around Exeter.

"All of the vehicles in question had been left unattended, with the engines running, in an attempt to de-ice windscreens.

“We know it can be tempting to start your car and wait in the warmth of your home while ice defrosts but leaving your vehicle unattended while running can attract thieves and, if parked on a public road, you may be breaking the law.''

“Cold weather is forecast for the rest of the week, so we’re urging motorists to extra time to de-ice their vehicles in the mornings. Please don’t leave vehicles running if unattended.”

If you have any information that could help with these enquiries, you can contact police via the force website here, or by calling 101 quoting 173 16/01/24.