THIS image should act as a stark illustration of the risks you run by leaving valuables on show in your car.
The picture, captured on an in-car CCTV system, shows a thief breaking into a vehicle on Red Doles Lane, off Leeds Road in Bradley Mills, on Sunday.
In this incident a satnav was stolen. But it illustrates a wider problem we have had in Kirklees since the start of the year – specifically thefts of handbags during vehicle break-ins.
Since January 1, there have been 21 reports of such offences, 17 of which have happened in and around Huddersfield.
The area covered by Huddersfield North Neighbourhood Policing Team – the council wards of Greenhead, Ashbrow and Lindley – is the divisional hotspot, with 14 reports coming from this patch.
The majority of the crimes have involved windows being smashed and bags taken from seats or footwells.
The records show that they are happening throughout the day, especially between noon and 1pm, 2pm-3pm and 4pm-9pm.
People might be more inclined to leave property in vehicles if they are only leaving them unattended for a short length of time.
However, would-be thieves only need a small window of opportunity to commit an offence.
Very recent incidents show that they are breaking into cars and stealing handbags when there is only a very small time-frame of a few minutes.
It’s really important that people stop leaving handbags in their cars even for the shortest of time periods.
Handbags left in cars provide rich pickings for offenders who can be in and out of a car in seconds – it really is that easy.
The distress and inconvenience for victims of this type of crime is not over quite so quickly, however.
Theft of house keys, replacement of locks at home and the loss of cash, credit cards, family photographs and sentimental items, as well as repairing damaged vehicles, are just a few of the issues that need managing.
Yet there is quick-fix to this problem and that is simply never ever to leave handbags in unattended vehicles whether on display or otherwise.
Please take this message on board.
If anyone can identify the man pictured, please contact police on 0845 6060606 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111.