EARLY signs that car crime was rising in South Wrexham have triggered a police crackdown.
Inspector Paul Firth and his officers in Rhos have teamed up with specialist officers to target car thieves.
Last year there were just 277 car crimes committed in Insp Firth's area compared with 497 in 2003.
Recent figures showed 15 more incidents had been recorded compared to this time last year.
'Last year we saw a 44.3% drop in car crime,' he said. 'That set us a tough target to achieve this year.
'We all knew it would be difficult but when we saw an unwelcome rise we knew we had to act quickly to stay on top of it.'
So Operation PACT was launched. This included special officers in unmarked cars and local officers targeting known offenders and suspicious cars.
In its first weekend eight cars were stopped and one arrest was made.
'We are going to make our area as unattractive as possible for car thieves,' said Insp Firth.
'These crimes are committed by a handful of offenders. We have also brought in some officers from West Mercia as we suspect people are crossing the border to commit crime and these officers can identify offenders more quickly.
'The message to criminals is 'we're coming to get you'. We need help from the public, however.
'There are still a lot of thefts of handbags, mobile phones and cheque books which are left in view on car seats.
'I understand it is hard to secure everything but these are items that should never be left in a car as it is, in effect, a glass box.
'Please help us reduce car crime by reducing the payoff for these criminals.'
If you have information about car crime call police on 0845 6071002 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111