MORE than 3,000 householders across West Yorkshire have fallen victim to thieves who break into homes in order to steal their cars.
Gangs of criminals have been targeting rare and expensive cars to steal, many of which are never recovered.
In the past two years more than 3,000 so-called 2-in-1 burglaries - also known as ‘Hanoi’ burglaries after the first police operation aimed at stamping them out - have been reported to West Yorkshire Police.
Around 100 are happening every month but in 2011 the numbers began to approach 200 a month over the summer.
Crime prevention officers are again urging people to take precautions.
Force crime reduction officer Christopher Joyce said thieves often got into homes through unlocked doors and windows.
“We do a lot of work to try and prevent motorists falling victim to 2-in-1, or Hanoi-style burglaries, which are where thieves sneak into a house through unlocked doors or windows to steal car keys before escaping in the vehicle.
“Sadly though, they still take place and, as these figures show, in significant numbers.
“As part of our crime prevention work, our Neighbourhood Policing Team officers will visit motorists as part of their daily beat patrols, focussing on properties which have expensive or rare cars parked outside but appear to have a low level of home security.
“What we often find is that many people take great pride in their cars and like to spend a lot of money on them, but often do not pay the same attention to their home security.
“This makes them easy targets for Hanoi burglars.”
He urged householders to consider a few simple crime prevention measures.
“There are plenty of simple things motorists can do to prevent becoming a victim of Hanoi-style burglaries.
“Parking your car in a garage if possible and keeping car keys out of view and easy reach in your homes are simple but effective.
“Locking your car and home doors and windows and even using a wheel clamp in your vehicle will help prevent it being stolen.
“We would remind people to always be vigilant and take and report suspicious circumstances where people are paying particular attention to cars parked in driveways.”
For further advice go to the Force website at www.westyorkshire.police.uk
The warning came as police again warned motorists not to leave valuables in their vehicles.
Tools believed to be worth hundreds of pounds were stolen in four separate incidents across the Eccleshill and Idle areas of Bradford overnight on Sunday.
Thieves smashed windows on vehicles parked in Myers Lane and Lichfield Mount in Bolton and Brander Close and Summerbridge Drive in Idle.
Two chainsaws, a glue gun and a bag of hand tools were taken.
Inspector Peter Tuff, who leads the Eccleshill Neighbourhood Policing Team said: “Taking a few minutes each night to remove tools from your vehicle will prevent you from the expense of having to replace them.
“If you do have to leave anything in your car or van, please make sure it is not on display and mark it with your house number and post code. This way, if it is stolen and we recover it, we can return it to you.
“We take vehicle crime very seriously, and we will be focusing our patrols in these areas, applying the pressure on the individuals committing these offences.”
Anyone with information should contact Airedale and North Bradford Police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.