Crime levels soar as cars are targeted by thieves

PUBLISHED: 04:03 24 July 2006 | UPDATED: 09:38 24 May 2010

THIEVES from the Midlands are targeting cars in Cheddar leading crime levels to increase by 40 per cent. Police officers are warning people not to leave any valuables in their cars after a spate of thefts at beauty spots across the area. One car from the

THIEVES from the Midlands are targeting cars in Cheddar leading crime levels to increase by 40 per cent.Police officers are warning people not to leave any valuables in their cars after a spate of thefts at beauty spots across the area.One car from the Midlands has been seen in the area where thefts from local people's as well as tourists' cars have taken place.Police say the hot weather has increased the number of travelling thieves as well as tourists to Cheddar and an operation to catch the culprits is under way.Satellite navigation equipment, stereos and purses from gloveboxes have been stolen from cars this month.Sgt Peter Yensen said: "The thieves are targeting beauty spots all over the area and it's not just tourists who they're stealing from."The hot weather has increased the opportunity for thieves as there are more cars to steal from. Crime has probably risen by 40 per cent compared to last year because of these thefts."We've been warning local people to take extra precautions because they're not used to opportunist thieves."Officers have been patrolling the gorge and we have been carrying out an operation to try and catch these thieves."Bob Smart, marketing manager at Cheddar Caves and Gorge, said the attraction's car parks were patrolled during the summer.He said: "The thefts tend to be more in places like Black Rock where cars are left unattended for long periods of time."There have been problems of thefts through the gorge, but they're more in secluded spots than in the main tourist car parks.

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