A SPECIAL police anti-car crime squad has made 125 arrests in five months.
The squad - which has drawn in experienced community beat officers - has targeted prolific offenders in Huddersfield, along with the vehicle crime hotspot areas.
Team leader Sgt John McFadzean said: "Most of the arrests have been for thefts of and from vehicles.
"But some of them have led to other things. One man was arrested for stealing a Ford Fiesta. But when we searched his room we found property linked to 16 other burglaries."
The squad - the Community Safety Vehicle Crime Unit - was set up just before Christmas.
The five constables in it have each served for at least 15 years and use their local knowledge to target known offenders and how they operate.
The constables have been seconded to the unit for a short time and will return to their usual beats.
The squad uses new technology, intelligence information and tip-offs from the public.
They sometimes even lurk in the darkness in the middle of the night to catch offenders red-handed.
The system - uniting new and old-fashioned policing - has led to the high number of arrests.
Early last month, the squad organised a high-profile operation involving almost 80 officers to target suspected car criminals in the Colne Valley.
The officers raided homes and businesses in Marsden, Slaithwaite, Golcar and Milnsbridge and made several arrests.
A few days ago a prolific car criminal was caught, pleaded guilty to offences and jailed for 12 months.
But Sgt McFadzean urged the public to do more to help in the fight against car crime.
He said: "Most car crime can be prevented by people being extra-vigi- lant and taking more care.
"I am constantly amazed at the number of people who leave valuables on display in their cars, especially things like designer sunglasses and handbags.
"A man left golf clubs worth £1,500 on the back seat of his car recently. The windows were smashed and the clubs were gone in seconds."
Sgt Macfadzean added: "If you have a garage, put your car in it. That's what it's there for!"
Another problem for the team has been the theft of alloy wheels. Sets can cost anything from £1,000 to £2,500.
Many motorists use locking nuts - then leave the keys for them in the car's glove compartment or door pockets.
Vehicle crime prevention tips can be found on www.westyorkshire. police.uk or phone 0845 6060606.