A national drive to cut down on car theft hit Falkirk this week with police officers making it a priority to detect or even prevent the crime.
Operation Quarterlight aims to reduce car crime in the Forth Valley area and highlight the importance of motorists ensuring both their vehicles and their homes are as secure as possible to make things difficult for thieves.
Speaking at the launch of the operation on Monday, Detective Chief Inspector Jim Smith said he would ensure the appropriate resources were provided to tackle the issue.
He said: “This is not in relation to an explosion in the number of car thefts in the area, although there has been a slight increase in vehicle crime. There are a number of issues for the area we discuss day to day and car crime is right up there with our top priorities.”
DCI Smith said there was no pattern to the cars being targeted - some are high-end expensive models, while others are relatively low-priced vehicles - or the people stealing them.
“There are a number of individuals we are seeking for outstanding crimes - some local, some from outside the area - and we will pursue these people until we have them in custody.
“People have been breaking into houses and taking car keys so they do not have to damage the cars to get into them. They want to keep the cars in as good a condition as possible.
“Don’t make things easy for them, secure your home and keep your car keys out of view. The public are our eyes and ears out there and I would ask them to report anything suspicious to us at the time they see it, not a couple of days after, because by that time it’s usually too late.”
Anyone with information about motor vehicle crime should call Police Scotland on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
Lock up your car and house - don’t make things easy for the criminals
Operation Quarterlight will see community officers on hand across the division to remind motorists of the personal responsibility they have when it comes to keeping their vehicles and property as safe as possible.
Simple safety measures include always ensuring vehicles are securely locked when you park them - especially overnight - removing valuables from cars or keeping them out of sight and not leaving the ignition running or keys in the car.
Criminals frequently target homes looking for easy access to car keys so police advise people to make sure their homes are secure, both doors and windows, and their car keys are put away out of sight and not lying out in the open within easy reach for an opportunistic car thief.