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Bike and car thefts increase in January

Police advise motorists to secure their vehicles after a rise in vehicle thefts (File photograph)

Vehicle theft has increased over the first few weeks of the year compared to 2020, a police spokesman said yesterday.

He added 27 vehicles had been stolen between January 1 and January 19 – five more than the same period last year.

The spokesman said that 23 motorcycles, one auxiliary cycle and three cars had been reported stolen.

He added that the three cars and two motorcycles had since been returned to their owners.

The spokesman said that prevention and deterrence were the best weapons to combat vehicle theft.

The spokesman added: “Keeping your doors locked is the first step in deterring a thief.

“It's good to get into the habit of double-checking that your vehicle's windows and doors are closed before leaving your car unattended.”

The spokesman advised drivers never to leave keys in the ignition or the engine running – even if it was just for a quick errand.

He said: “A running vehicle may be an easy target for a thief, especially if it is unattended or unlocked.”

The spokesman added car windows should also be closed.

He said: “A thief can simply reach into your car through an open window, taking what they can reach or unlocking the door to gain full access to your vehicle and everything in it.

“There have also been increased reports of individuals gaining entry into and rummaging unlocked vehicles, looking for anything of perceived value.”

The spokesman added that dimly-lit areas should be avoided when parking and that alarm systems acted were an effective deterrent.

He said motorcycle owners could also take action to prevent their vehicles from getting stolen.

The spokesman added: “Motorcycles are most frequently taken from car parks around the City of Hamilton but also from residential neighbourhoods.

“Typically, motorcycles are stolen for joy riding or for stripping of their parts.

“Again, always remove keys from the ignition, even if you intend on being away from your bike for only a short time.

“Remember to always use a secondary lock, that is, in addition to the handlebar lock.

“Where possible, the secondary lock should be used to attach the motorcycle to a fixed object.”

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Published January 27, 2021 at 7:59 am (Updated January 27, 2021 at 7:52 am)

Bike and car thefts increase in January

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