Police have issued a warning to residents after thieves were found to be targeting motorists who leave their cars running at home for up to an hour to warm up on frosty mornings in the Central West.
Police have revealed cars left to warm up were an easy steal for eager thieves.
Central West Police District crime manager Bruce Grassick told a community policing meeting in Orange the practice was attracting thieves like “sharks and berley”.
“There were people warming up the car in the driveway for an hour and they were getting stolen,” he said.
“It doesn’t take long to warm up a car, you can warm it up in a minute.
“They’re berley in the water.”
Mr Grassick also warned motorists not to leave their keys in their cars even if they were in locked garages.
He said if thieves found the keys to the garage in the house they could drive the car away loaded up with property stolen from the house.
“Keep your car locked and take your valuables with you,” he said.
Mr Grassick also warned tradies to lock the toolboxes on their vehicles at work, at home and when they were at the pub after work.
He said there had been an increase in theft from motor vehicles.
“We have seen a slight spike [this year],” he said.
There were 30 reports in April compared to 17 in the same month the year before.
“We are still trying to get the message to people with utes to lock their tools.
“While they are in the house working they [thieves] will steal from their motor vehicle.”
“We will continue to work with tradies on this,” he said.