POLICE say car crime is on the increase and are urging residents to take simple steps to avoid becoming victims.
There were 3,979 thefts from vehicles in the last financial year, April 2009 to March 2010, compared to 3,459 in the same period the year before.
From April to November this year, the latest figures available, there have already been 2,894, prompting fears the trend of rising car crime is set to continue.
Police warn criminals will be tempted to break into cars for seemingly worthless objects, such as carrier bags or old coats, to see if there is anything inside.
Officers say you should not leave anything inside your car and suggest leaving the glove box open so potential thieves can see it is empty.
The good news is theft of cars is falling with 81 less crimes between April 2008 to March 2009 and the same period this year, down from 1,142 to 1,061.
From April to November this year there have been 830 vehicles stolen.
A range of methods, including electronic mobilisers, steering wheel locks and always locking all doors even if leaving your car for a few minutes, can be used to help stop you becoming a target.
For more information call the police on 0300 123 1212 and ask for the details of your safer neighbourhood team.