THERE have been 32 carjackings in Coventry since the beginning of this month – prompting an urgent police warning.
West Midlands Police claims vehicle crime across the region has increased significantly in the last two years.
There are concerns a spiralling demand for car parts is fuelling a rise in vehicle crime, including car key burglaries and violent carjackings.
Three people – aged, 16, 17 and 23 – who were arrested this month in separate incidents on suspicion of robbery, have been released while enquiries continue.
Police are asking members of the public to be vigilant and detective sergeant Lisa Jones from the force CID team said: “As a force we are committed to tackling organised vehicle crime from all angles and have introduced short and long term measures to reduce the problem.
“Since last year, dedicated specialist burglary and robbery teams have been set up to investigate these crimes and apprehend those responsible.
“I am asking the people of Coventry to be careful following a significant rise in the number of carjackings this month.
“Be mindful of the people around you when you stop at traffic and when you park up.
“If you see any suspicious behaviour, please let us know, no matter how small it may seem.”
Police fear a proportion of stolen vehicles are broken down at so-called ‘chop shops’ and sold on through auction sites like AutoTrader, GumTree and Ebay.
In August last year, a campaign was launched to raise awareness of these garages publicly, and the force now receives an average of one report a day of chop shops operating around the West Midlands.
This information is used to shut down illegal operations; disrupting the chain of supply and demand.
In January, it emerged the operation had netted almost 1,000 suspects and led to the recovery of almost 600 stolen vehicles.
For more information on how to keep your car safe from thieves, check out our dedicated website here: https://www.west-midlands.police.uk/your-options/theft-motor-vehicle-0/#prevention
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