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Wednesday 1 December 2010

‘Boot Your Loot’ to frustrate thieves this Christmas


Boot Your Loot! – that’s the message to shoppers from Cheshire East’s Community Wardens this Christmas.

The Council is urging people to lock purchases out of sight in their vehicles – to give thieves slim pickings this festive season.

The Community Wardens team has launched the initiative, aimed at combating theft and car crime across Cheshire East during the busy holiday season.

Community Wardens will be patrolling towns in Cheshire East alerting shoppers to the dangers of leaving valuables on show in parked cars, tempting would-be thieves.

The registration details will be taken of any vehicle found with items left unattended. The wardens will then issue, to the registered keeper, an advisory letter and vehicle crime prevention leaflet that features a poem, promoting the campaign:

Christmas is a time to celebrate

Having good food and presents from a mate

How would it feel if the cupboard was bare?

A thief had taken all you prepare

How many times has it come to pass?

Your presents have been taken in a flash

All the hard work you did to buy

For a thief to take them in the blink of an eye

Take my advice

Lock them away

Don’t give the thief a bonus on Christmas Day


Belongings such as mobile phones, handbags, laptop computers, CD players and satellite navigation kits are on thieves ‘most wanted’ list this Christmas and New Year, with shopping bags also a firm favourite.

Vehicle crime affects many of us and can bring misery and despair as well as being a great inconvenience. The level of recorded vehicle crime in England and Wales has been reducing since the mid 1990s – but there is no room for complacency. Theft from vehicles accounts for about 20 per cent of all recorded crime.

Car break-ins usually involve a smashed window or a damaged lock, which are both costly and time consuming to the victim. On average, it takes between four and five hours to arrange and replace a smashed window or lock. The cost varies from £100 to £400.

Most vehicle crime is opportunistic and preventable. By following some simple advice and working together we can ensure that this type of crime keeps falling.

Top 10 tips to keep your car safe:

● Secure the doors and windows every time you leave the car;

● Items such as coats, bags and laptops should be removed from view;

● Remove any evidence of SatNav, including unit cradles and ring marks – the home address should also be removed from the memory;

● If you have a garage – use it;

● Stereos, CDs and other audio equipment should be removed from view when leaving the car;

● When parking in a narrow street, always move your wing mirror in, so they do not get knocked off by a passing car;

● Use a public car park that is part of the police approved ‘Safer Parking Scheme’. Go to to find your nearest one;

● If possible, use park-and-ride schemes and leave your car at home;

● Ensure that vans are secured and emptied of power tools – especially if being left over night;

● Good security in newer cars means that the only way to steal it is with the keys. Always take good care of them and never leave them by your front door or window.

Cheshire East Councillor Rachel Bailey, Cabinet member with responsibility for safer and stronger communities, said: “We are encouraging all car owners to remove any valuables on display in their vehicle, as this is proven to reduce the likelihood of theft.

“Just a few minutes spent placing personal items in the boot or removing them from your vehicle may prevent a ruined day out during the holiday period. Our advice is to lock your valuables in the boot of your car or simply to remove them altogether.”

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