- Daily Mail (UK) -
Police are taking valuables from unlocked cars to teach drivers to be more careful.
Motorists have been returning to vehicles to find that handbags, laptops and sat-navs have been replaced with a note telling them they can retrieve their belongings from a police station.
The scheme has been introduced in Richmond upon Thames, South-West London, which suffers from a high number of thefts from cars - up 40 per cent in a year.
Police have been taking valuables from unlocked cars and leaving notes for owners in Richmond, London (file photo)
Police from the area's Safer Neighbourhood teams are being told to look out for cars with open windows or doors.
If they find valuables on display they will try to find the owner nearby, but if they cannot they will take the goods to Twickenham police station.
Drivers who leave their car unlocked but with nothing on display will get a letter telling them to be more careful.
The project has the backing of Richmond council, which agreed to it after a surge in thefts to between April and July, a fifth of which were from unlocked cars.David Williams, the council's cabinet member for community safety, said: 'We have the lowest level of crime per head of any borough.
Probably not if you factor in the crime of breaking and entering peoples' cars, committed by their own police. But hey, don't confuse people with facts.