POLICE are warning motorists to lock their cars and not give thieves an easy ride after a spike in car crime.
In December, 45 cars were targeted across Chester city centre as thieves smashed their way through windows to get hold of valuables left on view inside.
Out of that figure nine of the cars had been left unlocked in the city and left insecure as easy pickings for opportunist thieves.
Police are now warning motorists to lock their cars and remove valuables, as even an empty bag or coat can prompt potential thieves to break into your car.
Constable Dan Reynolds of the Chester Outer Neighbourhood Engagement Team said: “The majority of incidents occurred overnight, although some are taking place in broad daylight.
“There is also an increase in windows being smashed to obtain items from within. On many occasions, windows have been broken for a search of an empty coat or bag to be made with nothing taken. This leaves the car owner with the cost and inconvenience of fixing a window.
“Sadly in Chester, there appears to have been rich pickings. In the last month, there has been a spate of this type of crime with Hoole and Kingsway area being most prominent for insecure vehicles. However, all the outer areas of Chester have been affected.
“Whilst we continue to crack down on car thieves with officers out on patrol both in plain clothes and in uniform, we urge people to lock their cars up and report to police anyone acting suspiciously in their street.”
Police are urging anyone who sees anything suspicious to call 101 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.