POLICE are warning Hampshire residents after a spate car thefts.

Officers in Gosport have reported that some cars have been left unlocked in the area.

During vehicle checks on February 28, 8 out of 203 cars had been found unlocked.

Between February 25 and March 4, there were 19 reports of thefts from motor vehicles, or of vehicles being tampered with.

During seven of the incidents, vehicles were locked and access was not gained but there were reports of individuals trying car door handles.

Some items were stolen including low value or miscellaneous items, food and loose change.

A pair of sunglasses and a sat nav were also among items stolen.

These have occurred in: Oval Gardens, St Vincent Road, Dolphin Crescent, Fanfare Close, Virginia Park Road, Arundel Road, Whitworth Road, Burney Road, Jellicoe Avenue, Privett Place, Lyndhurst Road, St Mary’s Avenue, Wandesford Place, Tintern Road and Gladstone Road.

On February 28, officers conducting vehicle checks found some cars to be unlocked.

These included: Waterloo Road - 55 cars, 4 unlocked; Victoria Park Road - 65 cars, all locked; Lyndhurst Road - 44 cars, 2 unlocked and Malvern Road: 39 checked, 4 unlocked.

In February, police in Fareham also reported an increase in thefts from motor vehicles in the borough.

A Hampshire police spokesperson said: "We would encourage people to always lock their vehicle when it is not being used, and to remove any valuables and loose change from inside.

"With more people remaining indoors due to the Government restrictions, vehicles are being used less, so it is worth taking the time to check on your vehicle even when you are not intending to use it, to ensure it is properly secured and no valuables are left within.

"We are often asked the question - are these thieves using ‘Frequency copiers’ to unlock the doors?

"These answer is that typically no this is not the case, these people are opportunists and checking doors. If you are worried about ‘frequency copiers’ or similar, keep your keys away from your front door or other public facing walls."

For further advice on how to keep your vehicle protected visit: hampshire.police.uk/cp/crime-prevention/keeping-vehicles-safe/