Victim of car crime in Lincoln backs new police crackdown in run-up to Christmas
A victim of car crime is backing a new police campaign to thwart thieves in the run-up to Christmas.
Police are beefing up patrols at known hotspots, with a £200 reward offered for information leading to the conviction of people handling stolen goods.
And pictures of unlocked cars and where property is left on display will be published on Twitter to encourage crime prevention.
Police have said no one will be able to identify the cars, or where they are parked, from the pictures.
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Louise Dowker, 37, from Harmston, had her car broken into and sat nav stolen in a car park in Lincoln. She now removes all valuables from her Audi and urges other motorists to be extra vigilant.
"It cost me £100 to get the window replaced. I now don't have satellite navigation and if you claim for these things on your insurance your premium goes up," said Mrs Dowker.
"I came into Lincoln to go shopping last month and after trying to find somewhere to park, I parked in a car park which unfortunately didn't have CCTV.
"I came back at about 6.30pm to discover the passenger window had been smashed, the glove box broken open and the sat nav removed from inside.
"This was a random attack but I feel I had probably been watched.
"I took all the precautions, even wiping the ring left by the sat nav from my windscreen, and I made sure everything was out of sight. If I had a sat nav now I would take it with me as I left the car.
"Despite what happened to me, I support what the police are doing to tackle these criminals. It's up to us motorists not to give thieves an easy opportunity."
There have been about 70 recent cases in Lincoln where sat navs, mobile phones, MP3 players, wallets, CDs and cash have been stolen.
Since the beginning of the year about 40 arrests have been made. But presents and property left in cars at this time of year can prove temptingly easy pickings. Inspector Pat Coates, of Lincolnshire Police, said: "We do have a real issue with thefts from vehicles and historically it does get worse at this time of year, but we do have an opportunity to stop that happening this year.
"The message is really very simple – if you don't leave anything in your car there's nothing to steal.
"Always lock your car, always remove all valuables, especially expensive items like sat navs, smartphones and MP3 players and always call us immediately if you see a crime in progress, anyone trying car doors, or even just someone looking into car windows."