Thefts from vehicles could be greatly reduced across the borough if drivers made sure their vehicles were locked when parked, say police in Sutton.

Over the last four weeks, police received 65 reports of thefts from vehicles – with 55% of these being attributed to vehicles being left insecure or where the means of entry was not apparent, which could mean that the locks have been picked or cloning devices used to bypass locks.

Sgt Steve George, who works in the borough’s crime analysis and intelligence gathering team, said: “I strongly suspect in many cases of thefts from vehicles that the vehicles have not been locked.

“We have received reports recently of offenders walking along the street trying door handles. If the door is locked they move on to the next vehicle. If the door opens they search the vehicle for items to steal.

“This type of crime can be greatly reduced if drivers take greater care in locking their vehicle,” he said.

Police advice includes:

– close your vehicle windows and sunroof; lock the doors and activate any security devices when leaving your car; double-check the doors are locked especially if using a remote key fob

– remove all your property from inside your vehicle when it is parked, including cash, credit cards, mobile phones, ipods, sunglasses, shopping bags and even vehicle documents and your Sat Nav and its holder

– call police immediately on 999 if you see anyone acting suspiciously near a vehicle at any time of the day or night

– protect your home to make it more difficult for anyone to break in and steal your vehicle key.