Drive to tackle Vauxhall thefts

Vauxhalls are being targeted
Vauxhalls are being targeted

The theft of Vauxhall vehicles and parts is on the rise again across the county, Beds Police confirmed yesterday.

The force’s Operation King crackdown previously saw offences come to a halt, but the practice is now picking up again with a number of investigations ongoing.

Det Chief Insp Ian Middleton said: “We have seen a rise in the theft of bumpers, seats and bonnets from Vauxhalls, as well as some incidents in which an entire car has been stolen from driveways and later found stripped of parts.

“Vauxhall vehicles are particularly popular in Bedfordshire due to the long-standing connection of the company with the local area.

“We suspect that the prevalence of the vehicles coupled with the fact that even higher specification models are not routinely fitted with audible alarms makes them a target for these crimes.

“We are working hard to build up an intelligence picture surrounding this type of offending, and want the culprits to know we take the theft of vehicles and parts extremely seriously.

“We want to increase awareness among the public of these crimes and encourage them to report any illegal or suspicious activity, in order to help us catch those responsible and cut off the practice at its roots.”

Enquiries are continuing to tackle the crime series and enforcement activity is to be increased to deter offenders from striking.

Residents are encouraged to take note of security advice including making sure all car doors and windows are locked and any alarm or immobiliser features are enabled.

Car owners can also security mark their items using commercially-available product markers and consider fitting steering wheel locks when leaving their vehicle.

Anyone who needs to repair or replace vehicle parts is strongly encouraged to use only a reputable and approved parts supplier and to ensure that the items they are purchasing are legitimately sourced.

Det Chief Insp Middleton added: “Clearly these offences are only being committed because there is a market for the stolen parts, so Bedfordshire Police needs the support of responsible vehicle owners to put a stop to the market that encourages such crime.”

Anyone with information is urged to call police on 101, or text 07786 200 011.

Alternatively, contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.