Police in Doncaster have issued a warning about a rise in the number of spare wheels being stolen from cars.
They are also concerned about the possible use of remote blocking devices to break into cars.
A total of 23 spare wheels have been stolen since March across Doncaster, with more than one taken from Mexborough, Intake, Cusworth and Rossington. They have mainly been taken from Ford Transits, but police believe that 4x4s and other vehicles that carry spares on the outside may be at risk.
South Yorkshire Police are advising drivers to fasten their spare wheels as securely as possible because wheel brackets can be undone using a spanner or screwdriver.
Ideally, a good quality padlock should be used to lock the bracket, preventing its easy removal. Parking with the rear of the vehicle close up to a garage or building to prevent access is also a good measure to take.
Doncaster police say an increasing number of people are reporting that their vehicles have been broken into after they have locked it and there are no signs of forced entry. Officers are recommending drivers lock their cars using the key, not from the button on the key fob and then check the door handle, to ensure it is locked before leaving.
Supt Eddie Murphy said: “In Doncaster, we want to ensure the public know what the prominent crimes are, so we can help them to take appropriate action.
“We have been carrying out extra patrols around car parks and the areas where these crimes have occurred.
“I would also encourage people to report incidents and any suspicious activity to police on 101. Residents know what is happening on their street and what is unusual activity for their neighbourhood. People do notice strange cars or people hanging around by garages or in car parks, so please tell us.”