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Ipswich motorists urged to take care after nearly 400 thefts from vehicles in eight months

Police are set to step up patrols in Ipswich after nearly 400 thefts from vehicles were reported in eight months.

Between February and October of this year, more than 380 thefts from cars were reported in the town alone.

Data from Suffolk Police suggested more than one-third of thefts were from insecure vehicles, compared to 14 per cent where the culprit had to force their way into the vehicle.

Over 380 thefts from vehicles were reported in Ipswich alone between February and October. Picture: iStock
Over 380 thefts from vehicles were reported in Ipswich alone between February and October. Picture: iStock

As a result, police have urged residents to ensure valuables are removed and vehicles are secure, and will patrol affected areas.

Inspector Ben Richards from Ipswich Police said thieves will target vehicles where items are clearly visible.

It’s not just valuables criminals are after. Even a charging cable or loose change could be enough an opportunistic thief to break into a car, he noted.

Physically checking doors are locked, windows are closed and any valuables are out of site can significantly reduce the risk of theft.

Mr Richards said: “We are conducting some targeted patrols in affected areas across the town and will be working closely with the Ipswich Borough Council Community safety teams, Crimestoppers and Neighbourhood Watch teams in an attempt to tackle the issue.

“Vehicles with keyless entry can also present thieves with an opportunity as the range on the key fob can reach a vehicle parked close to the address.

“We recommend utilising a ‘faraday bag’ to block the signal from the key.”

With the Christmas rush in full swing, police urged residents to consider vehicle security.

Mr Richards added: “The figures show opportunistic vehicle break-ins unfortunately happen all year round, and if you are a victim it can be very distressing and upsetting, but this can be magnified if you have gifts stolen that are bought for your loved ones.”

Suffolk Police asked residents to consider the following advice.

All valuables should be removed from vehicles, including drivers licenses, keys and passports, while also ensuring no items are visible.

The alarm should be set, and the vehicle should be parked in a secure and well-lit area covered by CCTV, if possible.

You could also ensure any doorbell cameras or dashcams work and are recording.

Finally, consider a shielded container to store essentials such as keys.