WINCHESTER has been hit by a spate of thefts from cars.

The police have issued a 'lock it or lose it' message following the incidents which have seen unlocked cars targeted.

Between May 7-12, police received 25 reports of thefts from vehicles in Winchester and other areas, including Alresford and Micheldever.

In one incident, keys and an ID card were stolen from a car that was parked in Barfield Close, on the night of Sunday May 12.

Officers from Winchester’s Neighbourhood Policing Team have been carrying out patrols and are looking to see if the incidents are linked. But they are also keen for car owners to do all they can to protect their property.

Insp Jon Turton said: “In some of these cases, cars have been left unlocked overnight or items have been left out on display.

“Thieves are opportunistic – if they see something on a car seat, the chances are they will try and take it. If the car is unlocked as well, it makes their job easier.

“Our advice is to always lock your car when park it. Try the handle afterwards to make sure it is locked.

“We also advise not to leave anything in the car that’s valuable – if it’s not there, then it can’t be stolen. Make sure nothing is left out on display.”

If you have any information about thefts from vehicles, including any suspicious activity that you have noticed, please call us on 101. If a crime is ongoing, please dial 999.