THIEVES have stolen alloy wheels from more than 100 cars in Huddersfield over the last six months.

Now, police are urging owners to thwart the thefts - simply by parking their cars in garages.

Huddersfield has had 106 cars targeted, but the Wakefield police division has been hit even harder, with almost 200 thefts recorded.

The thieves tend to strike at night and the cars they particularly target include Fords, Vauxhalls and Volkswagens.

In Bradford, thieves have targeted vehicle number plates, with 375 stolen over the last year.

They were mainly from Toyotas, Nissans, Fords and Vauxhalls and mostly plates with a G to N prefix.

West Yorkshire Police's new crime reduction officer, Det Insp John Minary, said: "This type of crime has a real impact on people's lives - and we have a number of measures in place to tackle it.

"In all three areas we have pro-active teams acting on intelligence, executing warrants and carrying out arrests.

"But we would also like the public's help to prevent such offences by taking some simple steps."

He added: "If you have a garage, put your car in it. Use locking wheel nuts. They are cheap and easy to fit and will prevent thieves stealing your wheels.

"Mark your property with an ultra-violet pen. Mark the wheels under the hub cap with the car number. Also mark the stereo or CD player.

"We are recovering stolen alloy wheels, but without identification we are unable to return them to their rightful owners."

Det Insp Minary added: "By taking preventive measures, we can bring vehicle crime down. We are also working closely with the local community and would welcome anyone with information about suspected criminal activity of any sort to contact us."

Phone Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Further crime prevention advice is available on the new-look West Yorkshire Police website at www.west or by contacting your local crime prevention officer on 0845 6060606.

* If you have a garage, put your car in it.

* Use locking wheel nuts which are cheap and easy to fit.

* Mark your property with a UV pen, mark the wheels under the hub cap with the car registration number and also the stereo or CD player.

* Never leave anything on display in your car and use a good quality steering lock.

* Park in an attended car park and look for one which is part of the Secured By Design scheme.

* To make registration plates more secure, use double-sided adhesive tape and self-tapping screws. Drill out the grooves in screwheads so they cannot easily be removed.