DRIVERS have had their vehicles stolen after leaving them to defrost and warm up during the cold mornings.
Three victims have fallen prey to the opportunist thieves over the last few days.
One van remains missing and the two cars were recovered; but one was damaged in a hit-and-run smash.
Once again we would urge people never to leave their cars with the engines running and the keys in the ignition, not even for a few seconds. Use de-icer and scrapers and stay with the vehicle at all times.
Thieves take just seconds to strike and if people think it will never happen to them ... well, it’s happened to three victims.
These crimes can happen anywhere and at any time, with the thefts as far apart as Holmfirth and Heckmondwike.
The hit-and-run smash began with the theft of a Y-registered yellow Fiat Punto which was being defrosted on Pyenot Gardens in Cleckheaton at 8.10am on Tuesday, February 12.
It hit a parked car on Shillbank Lane in Mirfield at 12.20am on Friday, February 15.
Where had it been for the three days in between?
Three teenagers fled from the car after the crash. One of them, a girl, is thought to have been injured.
She is white, aged 16 or 17 with blonde hair and was seen to limp away from the crash scene.
The other teenagers are white youths aged 17 or 18 who wore tracksuit bottoms and baseball caps.
A white Toyota Hiace panel van was taken from New Mill Road in Holmfirth at 7.15am on Tuesday.
The driver had left it to defrost with the engine running for a few seconds. He returned to see it disappearing down the road towards New Mill.
The third theft happened at 9.30am on Sunday morning on Harewood Avenue in Heckmondwike, when a Ford Mondeo was stolen.
That was later found.
Thieves are targeting vans again to steal tools, especially power tools.
Since the start of January a third of all thefts from vehicles in the Batley area have been vans where thieves have forced locks or smashed windows to steal power tools.
The latest was on Tuesday night when thieves took three Dewalt power tools from a van on Brookroyd Lane in Batley.
But similar thefts have also been happening in Huddersfield.
In one brazen theft a thief forced his way into a white Peugeot van on the Leeds Road Retail Park between 1pm and 3pm on Tuesday and stole a toolbox and a Bosch power drill.
It must have been busy at the time and we would like anyone who saw anything suspicious to come forward.
Always remove tools from vans at night.
It may add five minutes to your day, but if the tools are stolen you’d spend a day sorting out the insurance, damage to the vehicle and replacing the tools.
And that means a day’s lost pay!