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Police urge drivers in Rushmoor and Hart to 'be on their guard'

4 minute read
Police urge drivers in Rushmoor and Hart to 'be on their guard'

Published at 6:00am 10th July 2020.

Police are warning drivers in Rushmoor and Hart to "be on their guard" following a spate of vehicle crime.

There have been a series of thefts from vehicles and thefts of catalytic converters in the area.

Between 30 June and 7 July, there were six thefts of catalytic converters from cars.

The vehicles were parked in:

    • Austen Road, Farnborough on the afternoon of 1 July
    • Sycamore Road, Farnborough overnight between 30 June and 1 July
    • Ascot Court, Aldershot on the afternoon of 4 July
    • Corfe Way, Farnborough, in the afternoon of 4 July
    • Reading Road, Hook overnight on 6 July
    • Holywell Close, Farnborough overnight on 7 July.

There were also nine offences where vehicles were either broken into or potentially left insecure:

    • Ferndale Road, Fleet, overnight on 6 July. A window was smashed to gain access and a wallet stolen.
    • Falconer Road, Fleet, overnight on 7 July. Glove compartment was searched and items strewn around car. Nothing reported as stolen.
    • Elphage Road, Fleet, between 6 and 7 July. The door to the car was found open and the contents of the glove compartment strewn around the car. Nothing reported as stolen.
    • Hook Road, Hook, between 3 July and 7 July. Both number plates were stolen from a vehicle.
    • Stockbridge Drive, Aldershot, between 3pm and midnight on 30 June. A machine was stolen off the back of a works van.
    • Ship Lane, Farnborough, around 1am on 26 June. Suspect entered vehicle and stole a purse from inside.
    • Tweedsmuir Close, Farnborough, around 1.45am on 7 July. Suspects gained entry to two separate vehicles. Nothing was reported as stolen.
    • McNaughton Close, Farnborough, suspects broke into a vehicle overnight between 6 and 7 July. A Garmin sat nav was stolen and the inside of the car was left in an untidy state.

In response to the incidents, Hampshire Constabulary has issued the following guidance about how to protect vehicles from thieves:

    • Always lock your vehicle. Even if you are just popping back into the house or going to pay for fuel.
    • Do not leave anything valuable in your vehicles. Your mobile phone, coins, sunglasses and other items that can earn quick cash are irresistible to an opportunistic thief. Wallets, bags, purses, credit cards should never be left in an unattended vehicle.
    • Leave your glove box open to show it is empty.
    • Hide electrical items and leave no clues. Leaving sat nav mounts, suction cup marks on windows or cables in view suggests to a thief there is a sat nav, mobile phone or other device in your car. You may have taken the device out but if they see other clues, that will not stop them breaking in to check.
    • Vans are often targeted for tools. If you have to leave tools in a van overnight, mark them clearly with your name using paint pens and seal with a laquer spray. This makes them less desirable and difficult to sell on. Take photos of items of value, make a note of serial numbers and consider registering them online at a property register like Immobilise.
    • Wherever possible, empty your van of all valuables. Leave a sign saying ‘all valuables are emptied out overnight’.

To avoid catalytic converter theft, police advise drivers to:

    • Park your car in a locked garage where possible, but if this is not an option, then park in a well-lit and well-populated area.
    • If parking in a public car park, consider parking alongside other cars and facing your bonnet towards a wall, if possible.
    • Avoid parking half on the pavement and half on the road as it makes the underside of your vehicle more accessible.
    • Look out for people working under cars. If you see anything suspicious, call the police.
    • If your catalytic converter is ‘bolted on’, you can have the bolts welded shut.
    • Identify/etch your converter with a unique mark or serial number.
    • Cat clamps - a cage that surrounds your catalytic converter to prevent it being unbolted.
    • Security lighting/CCTV on your drive or covering your parking space.

Anybody who sees anything suspicious should call 101 or report it online.

If a crime is in progress call 999.