As the weather gets colder, Dudley borough residents are being warned to be cautious when defrosting cars.
Dudley’s community safety partnership, safe & sound, is urging people not to leave keys in the ignition of an unattended vehicle.
Every winter cars are stolen from driveways and the kerbside when unsuspecting owners leave cars unattended while warming up and defrosting windscreens.
To avoid becoming a victim to opportunist thieves, the advice is to clear windscreens with de-icer and a scraper and sit in your vehicle while the heater de-mists the windscreen.
Councillor Laura Taylor, cabinet member for housing and safer communities, said:
“It may sound like simple advice, but some victims only nip inside for a few seconds to collect a bag or finish a cup of coffee and that’s all the time a thief needs.
“Insurance companies may not pay out for cars stolen in this way and if your house keys are also stolen homes also become vulnerable.
“By being cautious people can avoid falling victim to opportunist thieves.”
Anyone acting suspiciously can be reported to the police by calling 101 or 999 if a crime has been committed.