DOZENS of sat-navs have been stolen from cars in Huddersfield in the past two months.
Since February, 60 of the devices have been pinched in smash-and-grab raids in the area covered by Huddersfield South Neighbourhood Police.
The team is responsible for the Kirklees Council wards of Newsome, Dalton and Almondbury.
Sgt John McFadzean said there had been major problems with cars parked near the Galpharm Stadium on match days and in town centre car parks.
He added: “Although the police do all they can to catch those responsible, prevention is ultimately better than cure.
“Vehicles are being broken in to because people are leaving satellite navigation systems and their holders on view.
“Satellite navigation systems are still expensive to buy in the shops and as such are a valuable commodity for thieves.
“If a thief sees a component part of a sat-nav on display in a vehicle, they will break in on the assumption that the system itself is in the glove box.”
Two Huddersfield men aged 33 and 26 were arrested on Tuesday after three cars were broken into in Huddersfield town centre before being released on bail.
Sgt McFadzean urged drivers to remove sat-nav cradles and chargers from view and to wipe tell-tale marks off the windscreen and dash.
Windows and retractable roofs should always be shut.
He added: “Even leaving your cigarette lighter out of its socket can be an indication to the thief that a sat-nav could be in the vehicle.”
Victims of sat-nav thefts can call the makers to get the signal cancelled.
“Huddersfield South NPT ask that everyone be vigilant when leaving their cars,” Sgt McFadzean said.
“Please don’t get caught out and ensure that your vehicle is secure and that all property is out of sight.”
To report sat-nav thieves call police on 0845 6060606 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.
More than 50 cars are stolen in England and Wales every day by burglars breaking into homes to steal keys.
Figures revealed by Home Secretary Alan Johnson showed 19,400 vehicles were taken in this way last year.