9:00am Saturday 26th January 2013
CRAFTY cops are hoping to catch a thief by leaving an undercover car with its keys in the ignition after a spate of incidents in the cold snap.
The police 'run-lock' car which is left ticking over with keys in the ignition stalls should anyone try to steal it and is fitted out with hidden interior CCTV to catch opportunists on camera.
It's being placed in key locations across the region on frosty mornings and used to snare thieves who mistakenly think the car is easy pickings.
Dudley Police Sergeant Richard Narrowmore, said: "If anyone tries stealing the car officers patrolling in the area will be electronically notified that it's under attack and will be there straight away to make an arrest.
"We want car thieves to know that what they see as a quick drive-away theft is likely to lead them straight to a police cell."
During the recent cold snap, West Midlands Police has reiterated its 'frosty morning warning' to motorists who make their car cosy for criminals by leaving them running unattended to thaw out.
As overnight temperatures plummet, officers across the region are carrying out early morning 'frost patrols' to deter thieves and alert motorists who may be putting their vehicles at risk.
But despite the warning patrol officers are still witnessing shocking examples of poor car security including one man who recently took a shower whilst his car was left running with its heaters on to defrost!
He added: "Any motorists we see putting their vehicle at risk are being spoken to by officers every year we're seeing tens of cars stolen in this way and it's a crime that can be completely eradicated if people take common sense precautions.
"We'd advise people to stay with the vehicles and use ice scrapers and de-icer to speed up the defrosting process.
"Owners may think it's fine to nip inside the house whilst the car's running, just for a minute to pick up a bag or finish a last mouthful of coffee, but that's all the time opportunist thieves need to jump in the driver's seat and speed off.
"Insurance companies are unlikely to pay out in cases where a vehicle's left unoccupied with keys in the ignition as they could deem the owner's negligence has led to the theft. People could be left thousands of pounds out of pocket."
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