Police Scotland is urging householders to take sensible precaustions to avoid becoming a victim of car crime.
Although there is an overall downward trend in relation to car theft and attempted car theft in Tayside over the past five years, there have been 300 such crimes between April last year and the end of March.
At the same time Chief Inspector Gary Ogilvie, of Tayside Division, urged householders to look to the security of their homes, sheds, garages and outbuildings, appealing to them not to leave them vulnerable as the warmer weather and lighter nights settle in.
He said: “Security weaknesses in vehicles have been designed out to a large extent over recent years. But human error, misplaced trust and a lack of simple crime prevention still leaves the opportunist thief with ample opportunity.
“Car crime is not prevalent in Dundee or Tayside, but we are also not immune to it, which is why Police Scotland asks people to take every possible precaution to keep their vehicles and their homes secure.
“An unlocked front door, with a row of keys hanging on a rack just inside, is a gift to the passing criminal. Even when the door is locked, determined thieves can and do ‘fish’ for keys through the letterbox. Never leave keys in the first place a thief will look – not the hall table, or even a coat pocket or hand bag slung over the bottom of the stair for example.”
Cars should be garaged securely if possible and can be fitted with GPS tracking systems which are invaluable in tracing a vehicle if it is stolen.
As summer approaches, thieves will take advantage of open or unlocked doors and windows to steal from houses, garages, sheds and other outbuildings and crime prevention advice is available from the force.
Anyone with information that could assist Police Scotland should call them on 101, or speak to any officer. Information can also be passed anonymously via the charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. Anyone who sees a crime in progress should call 999.