Police are urging walkers to review their vehicle security after a spate of vehicle crime reports in Dacorum.
There were four reports of thefts from vehicles in the areas of Wilstone, Tring, and Little Gaddesden in as many days earlier this month.
Sergeant Sarah Anderson, from the Berkhamsted and Tring Safer Neighbourhood Team, said: ‘We issued a warning to motorists earlier this year after a series of vehicle break-ins in rural areas and the situation improved, but incidents are again rising, and I’d like to stop anyone else becoming a victim of crime.
‘In many cases thieves have targeted vehicles left unattended while their owners have been exercising in the local countryside with items stolen including handbags, bank cards and mobile phones.
‘I’d like to reassure the community that we are investigating these incidents, increasing our high visibility patrols in the affected areas and working with our Crime Reduction and Community Safety team to install preventative signage in hotspot locations, but we want to make the public aware of these incidents so they can review their own security measures and help stop their vehicles being targeted by opportunist thieves.
‘It seems obvious, but ensuring your car is fully locked is an essential part of your vehicle’s safety. It can be easy to get distracted when exiting your vehicle, but it is so important to make sure the last thing you do before leaving your car unattended is lock it.
‘Lastly, please make sure that all valuables are removed from inside the vehicle and that nothing is left on display. Even items such as sunglasses, coats and loose change can be enough to entice a criminal to break in.
‘If you witness any suspicious activity around vehicles, or believe a crime may be in progress, always dial 999 straight away.’ You can report information online, use online web chat, or call the non-emergency number 101.
To receive police messages about a range of topics including burglaries, scams and missing people in your local area, sign up to owl.co.uk/herts or download the ‘OWL crime alerts’ app from your app store.