CAR crime in Newton Abbot has leapt into top gear with a spate of thefts from vehicles being committed across the town.
Police have issued an urgent appeal for information in an effort to slam the brakes on the activities of the relentless ‘riding their luck’ thieves.
At least eight smash and grab attacks on cars have been reported locally in as many days.
One victim, who lost her travel bag and valuable contents to the offenders in Bakers Park only yesterday complained: ‘We are completely devastated by this vile crime. I don’t understand why this town has become so destructive and selfish to our community.’
Deana Riordan and her mum Vikki Chappell, who live at Orleigh Cross, near the town’s hospital, returned to their Ford Ka late yesterday afternoon to find a brick had been thrown through the passenger window and the bag taken.
It contained, among other things, ID, £80 cash, house keys and a mobile phone.
Angry mum Vikki said: ‘Deana is absolutely gutted. It’s all her personal stuff which has been stolen – everything.’
The attack, which happened at about 4pm, immediately prompted police to urge all vehicle owners not to leave any goods on display.
A police spokesman confirmed that at least eight vehicles had been targeted in the last week in locations across the town, most of them under cover of darkness.
Hunting grounds for the plunderers have included Old Totnes Road, Forde Park, Courtenay Road and around the library and market areas of the town centre.
The spokesman admitted: ‘This has been happening on an almost daily basis, which is a concern.
‘We would urge any members of the public who see such activity to report it to us immediately so we have a chance of catching those responsible.’
He appealed to vehicle owners not to give opportunist thieves the chance of continuing their activities by locking away any valuables ‘out of sight and out of mind.’
Anyone with information about the thefts should ring police on 101 or use the confidential Crimestoppers facility on 0800 555111.