Doncaster PCSO’s discovered over 4,l00 vulnerable vehicles last month as part of Operation Lockdown.
Operation Lockdown is a forcewide initiative to combat house burglary and vehicle crime, and as part of the initative 23 PCSOs have carried out just under 36,000 vehicles checks in the last month alone.
The PCSOs also checked cars and vans in target spots where vehicle crime was the highest in their area, which covers the town centre, Balby, Hexthorpe, Hyde Park, Intake, Wheatley, Cantley and Bessacarr.
Sergeant Lynne Lancaster of South Yorkshire Police said: “We’ve been carrying out regular patrols since Operation Lockdown began, but last month there were still 56 times when a thief stole or tried to steal from a vehicle and six vehicles were stolen.
She added: “When we spoke with offenders they revealed they’d try door handles to see if the vehicle was open, so we thought we’d get in first.
“If the vehicle is insecure or vulnerable then we’ve been knocking on doors to tell people or trying to trace the owner to educate them and prevent them from becoming a victim.
“Most people have reacted very positively to us being out and about and were full of praise for officers being so pro-active.
“Mainly they were shocked that they had left their vehicles open or left valuables on display, simply without thinking in almost all cases.”
Sgt Lancaster said that worryingly some drivers were leaving vehicles unlocked and a substantial number were leaving expensive items such as lap tops, handbags, sat navs and loose change on show.
“This is just an invitation to thieves,” she warned. “We want to ensure that characters like Operation Lockdown’s Nick de Mota don’t have easy pickings.”