INCREASING vehicle crime in the Chichester district has led police to launch a new operation to tackle thieves.
Operation Mini was launched this week to target car crime.
There has been a ‘recent rise’ in the number of offences across the Chichester district, according to police.
A number of vehicles have been broken into and valuables stolen from inside.
PC Jason Stanley, from Chichester neighbourhood policing team, said: “We would like to take this opportunity to remind people that they should remove any valuables from their vehicle when they exit and take them with them, even if you are only away from your vehicle for a short time.
“We have had a number of offences across the district which would suggest that offenders have watched victims place valuables in the boot of their car or under their seat and have then waited for the victim to leave before breaking in and stealing the items.
“If you see anything suspicious or have any concerns, please contact Sussex Police on 101.”
As part of the operation, officers will be deployed across Chichester district, offering crime prevention advice to members of the public and stopping any suspicious persons or vehicles.
A number of cars have been broken into in recent weeks north of Chichester city, with last week’s Observer reporting a further four cars broken into in West Stoke, West Marden, West Dean and East Lavant.
Another break-in has since been reported, which took place in Chilgrove.
Between 2pm and 3pm on March 14, the rear window was smashed of a parked car. Nothing was stolen from inside the car.