LEAVE your car unlocked and this is what could happen.

Police have released footage of an opportunist thief stealing from a parked car as a warning to drivers.

The theft happened at around 4.40am on Wednesday where items were stolen from a black Vauxhall Astra parked on Primrose Hill in Low Fell, Gateshead.

Footage from a property on the street concerned shows the suspect try his luck with the door as he walked down the street.

He then leans into the car and searches through the boot before making off with loose change.

Officers from the Gateshead Central Neighbourhood Policing Team are making enquiries to identify the person responsible for the theft.

And they are keeping an open mind as to whether it is linked to other similar offences where unlocked cars were targeted on streets including Dryden Road, Highlaws Gardens, Oakwood Drive, Bideford Gardens, Tiverton Gardens and Ivy Lane.

Now police have released the footage of the theft on Wednesday morning to encourage drivers to keep their doors locked – or risk falling victim to crime.

Neighbourhood Inspector Mick Robson said: “Victims are never to blame for being targeted by thieves and there are people out there who will look to take advantage of any opportunity to commit a crime.

“However, there are a number of simple steps people can take to avoid being targeted whether that is keeping your vehicle locked or bringing any valuable into your home when you park up at the end of the day.

“We have had a number of incidents in the Low Fell area in recent weeks where offenders have targeted unlocked cars and it is likely some of the same offenders are responsible.

“Enquiries into all the incidents are ongoing but if you think you have information about those responsible, or have seen anyone acting suspiciously in your neighbourhood, then please get in touch.”

  • Anyone who recognises the person in the footage, or has information that may assist police, should call police on 101 and ask to speak to the Gateshead Central NPT.
  • You can also report intelligence online at www.northumbria.police.uk or email police in Gateshead at centralgateshead.npt@northumbria.pnn.police.uk.