AS THE first real cold snap of the winter sets in, police are warning people not to leave their cars unattended while defrosting.
Opportunist thieves see this as a perfect opportunity to pick up a vehicle with the minimum of fuss and can take cars even if they are left for just a few seconds.
Some cases have seen cars stolen while the owner was at the back of the vehicle spraying de-icer on the rear windscreen.
David Owens, crime reduction adviser, said: “I understand how tempting it is for owners to start defrosting their cars and then head for the relative warmth of the house or garage.
“But for many thieves this is a green light to help themselves and it is something which is easily preventable.
“When defrosting your car make sure you always stay with the vehicle and preferably always stay in a position where it would be difficult for someone to get into the car and drive it away.
“Check the weather forecast and if the conditions sound particularly bad, make sure you have a blanket, an extra layer of warm clothing and a shovel in the boot.
“Finally, don’t forget to take a mobile phone but don’t leave the phone or sat nav on view when you are not with the car.”