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Police have stepped up patrols after a rise in thefts from vehicles

Harrogate police have stepped up patrols after a rise in thefts from vehicles.

Officers are also warning residents to be vigilant and not leave any property on display, particularly in the Cold Bath Road and Duchy areas of the town, which have been targeted recently.

In the past month the number of cars being broken into has increased, with officers reporting that on most occasions thieves have used a brick to smash car windows before gaining access and stealing any property left inside the vehicle. In response to the rise in thefts, police have launched Operation Umbrage, which aims to educate residents about leaving valuables on display and provides a visible police presence to deter potential thieves.

Inspector Will Scarlett, of Harrogate Safer Neighbourhood Team, said: “We are asking people to be vigilant and ensure that they remove all valuables from their vehicles when parking them up for the night. “Don’t leave items which are tempting to thieves on display, in particular items such as sat navs, iPods and laptops, which they are especially attracted to.”

Officers on patrol will be checking vehicles for valuables left on open display and letters offering crime prevention advice will be sent to vehicle owners who are not taking care to keep their property out of sight.

Police are also working with Harrogate District Community Safety Partnership to distribute mirror hangers stating ‘There is nothing in the vehicle to steal’ and officers will also be delivering leaflets outlining important crime prevention advice.

Inspector Scarlett added: “We are doing what we can by increasing patrols and offering crime prevention advice, however the public can do their bit too, by making life difficult for thieves and not leaving valuables on display. “I would also encourage people to register their property with the National Mobile Property Register. It is free to use website and helps us reunite stolen property with its rightful owner as quickly as possible.” For more details visit

For further information about Operation Umbrage or general crime prevention advice contact Inspector Will Scarlett or Sergeant Tim Craven, of Harrogate Safer Neighbourhood Team, on 0845 60 60 24 7.

Further crime prevention advice can be found on the North Yorkshire Police website

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