Cheshire East Council is asking local people to remain vigilant and report suspicious behaviour on any of its car parks after a recent spate of thefts from pay-and-display machines.
More than 20 machines located in Macclesfield, Crewe, Nantwich and Congleton have been targeted in recent weeks. The council has notified Cheshire police about the thefts.
An estimated £15,000 has been stolen to date, with some of these thefts taking place in daytime. The damage to the machines is expected to cost more than £10,000 to repair.
Money received from parking machines is used to ensure car parks are safe, secure and well maintained and encourages a good turnaround of spaces for shoppers.
Councillor Craig Browne, deputy leader of Cheshire East Council, said: “This is a targeted crime against our tax-payers and we ask anyone using our car parks to be on the look out for suspicious behaviour.
“This is not a victimless crime. Not only has the car park money been stolen, it is also our tax-payers who have to pick up the bill to repair or replace these damaged machines.
“This diverts essential money away from other areas of the council, which is there to provide vital services to the most vulnerable people in our community.
“We apologise for the inconvenience these thefts are causing our car park users and we are working to repair or replace the machines as soon as possible. Motorists can still pay for their parking by using the other options displayed in the car park.”
Anyone that sees suspicious activity is strongly advised not to approach possible perpetrators and, instead, report concerns to Cheshire police on 101.
Damaged parking meters can be reported to the council by emailing: email@example.com
Targeted machines so far include:
First Wood Street