THIEVES are targeting off-duty taxis to steal the day’s takings.

Several cabs in Newcastle have been hit and police are urging drivers not to leave money in their vehicles. Between 11pm on Wednesday ( February 20) and 9am on Thursday ( February 21) a taxi parked outside the driver's home in Benton had a window smashed and £50 in cash was stolen.

Newcastle East Neighbourhood Inspector Louise Cass-Williams said: "Thieves are targeting taxis in the hope drivers have left takings, sat navs and other valuables inside.

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"We need taxi drivers and indeed all drivers to help us stop this type of crime by making sure that they take all valuables out of their cars whenever they leave them.

"This type of theft can be carried out in seconds and it's not good enough to just hide money and valuables under seats or in glove compartments as thieves know where to look. “Drivers should remove everything, ensure their vehicle is locked when it's left and report any suspicious behaviour to police."