People around the north-east are still leaving doors open for criminals, failing to heed warnings about crime prevention, a top police officer said last week.
Aberdeen Division Chief Inspector Garry Senff has renewed Grampian Police’s appeals for residents to lock their homes and secure their property.
High value and powerful cars continue to be stolen from insecure homes, and eleven people were charged with related offences last weekend alone.
One of those included a 12-year-old boy who allegedly stole and drove a Honda and an Audi dangerously around the city.
Since the start of October 2012, 86 people in Aberdeen City and Shire have been charged in connection with car thefts. Of those, 13 are under the age of 16.
Police are sending out the message that an open door is an open invitation, and two victims of sneak-in car thefts have warned homeowners not to be complacent.
Since October, over 100 cars worth £1million have been stolen, in over 90% of cases using the ignition keys for the vehicle.
Most new cars are very difficult to start without the ignition key, leading criminals to attempt to obtain the key by whatever means possible.
The value of cars recovered so far is around £900,000, but that does not reflect the upset and inconvenience caused to their owners, which could have been easily avoided.
Chief Inspector Senff said: “The message is simple. Don’t leave your doors unlocked and give criminals an open invitation, because they will take advantage of the opportunity.
“A car is one of the most expensive items people buy. It’s what transports them to work and their children to school, and to risk losing it by leaving the keys in view behind an unlocked door, or in the ignition of an unlocked car, is astonishing.
“We need the support of the public in preventing crime and some simple things like locking your car, your home and keeping your keys somewhere safe and out of sight will help to deter criminals from making you the next victim.
“If you have security devices you should use them.”