police probe spree

Car theft
Car theft

Thieves have targeted cars across the Dearne in a crime wave which is being probed by police.

Motorists reported 33 incidents of break-ins to their motors in April across Wath, West Melton, Manvers and Brampton.

No arrests have been made in relation to the crimes and police are now urging the public to come forward with information as they hunt the perpetrators.

Officers at the Wentworth North Safer Neighbourhood Team have now vowed to make tackling vehicle crime their top priority. Sergeant Claire Learad said: “We did see a marked increase in thefts from vehicles. Items taken included laptops, mobile phones, shopping and even loose change.

“There are a number of reasons to explain why there might have been a spate. It could be people been released from prison into the area, and you also get people passing through targeting an area for a while.”

She added: “We have CCTV footage of someone trying car doors along Quarry Hill Road at 3.30am to see if any of them are unlocked.

“I would urge people make sure their car doors are locked and not to leave valuable on display. Take them out of your vehicle.

“If anyone has any information about any of the crimes please contact police.”

There was almost twice as many vehicle crimes reported in April compared to March, which saw 19 break-ins.

Police said the number of vehicle crimes has dropped in May since more officer patrols were deployed in the area.

Police Community Support Officers (PCSO) have been checking unsafe vehicles and leaving leaflets for motorists advising them how to keep their vehicles safe.

One former victim of vehicle crime told of the lasting damage it can cause if items of sentimental value are taken.

Shawn Hopkins and fiancee Jenna Cooper had presents and cards stolen from their car while they celebrated their engagement party at Wath Cricket Club in August last year.

Mr Hopkins, 27, said: “We felt really upset. It was the fact that our engagement presents were stolen, which obviously had sentimental value.

“For a couple of months or so I didn’t like driving my own car. I couldn’t stop thinking when I was driving it about that someone had broken into it.

“It felt like a personal attack on us for no reason.”

Police made tackling vehicle crime their top priority at a Police And Communities Together (PACT) meeting.

The team will report back on their initiatives to the public at Dearne Fire Station on Monday, July 8, at 7pm.

To see specifically where vehicle crime has been committed, visit www.police.uk and search for your town.

Anyone with information about vehicle crime can contact South Yorkshire Police on the non emergency 101 number.