OWNERS of vans and Land Rovers are being warned to be on the alert for thieves stealing vehicle parts.
Staffordshire police is launching a campaign to raise awareness of the problem and give motorists crime prevention advice.
Officers say thieves are targeting vans and Land Rovers in particular to steal valuable parts, which are then sold on or used as parts for other vehicles.
Thieves are taking opportunities and targeting unlocked vehicles and those parked in poorly lit or quiet areas.
Posters are being distributed to local petrol stations, garages and supermarkets to advise motorists to take extra precautions.
Risks can be minimised by ensuring vehicles are securely locked, even if left for just a few minutes, switching on alarms and immobilisers, parking in well lit or busy areas
and locking the vehicle in a garage if possible.
Chief Superintendent Jon Drake said: “Many vehicle parts thefts are preventable with the offenders targeting unsecure vehicles.
“It is imperative that motorists make sure their vehicles are secure and parked in areas that would make it difficult for a theft to have the time or opportunity to remove parts from the vehicle.
“We urge motorists to be vigilant and report anyone acting suspiciously to us via our non-emergency number 101, or in an emergency 999.”