Police: local car thefts cost £1 million

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GRAMPIAN Police are appealing for residents of the city and shire to remain vigilant and keep their car secure, after revealing that £1 million worth of vehicles have been stolen in the past year.

Aberdeen Division Chief Inspector Garry Senff has renewed Grampian Police’s appeals for residents to lock their homes and secure their property. High value and powerful cars continue to be stolen from insecure homes, and eleven people were charged with related offences last weekend alone.

Since the start of October 2012, 86 people in Aberdeen City and Shire have been charged in connection with car thefts. Of those, 13 are under the age of 16. Police are sending out the message that an open door is an open invitation. Since October, over 100 cars worth £1 million have been stolen, in over 90% of cases using the ignition keys for the vehicle.

Most new cars are very difficult to start without the ignition key, leading criminals to attempt to obtain the key by whatever means possible.

Chief Inspector Senff said: “The message is simple. Don’t leave your doors unlocked and give criminals an open invitation, because they will take advantage of the opportunity.

“A car is one of the most expensive items people buy, and to risk losing it by leaving the keys in view behind an unlocked door, or in the ignition of an unlocked car, is astonishing. But that’s exactly what has been happening in many cases, and while we will continue to charge suspects for these crimes, a few simple steps by the public could stop them happening in the first place.”