Warning after theft in church car park

CALLOUS thieves stole a handbag from a car parked at a church in Gilford in the lead-up to Christmas.

Around 7pm on Friday, 21 December, the handbag was taken from a Nissan Quashqai, parked in a church car park in the Banbridge Road area of Gilford.

Police are appealing to anyone who has information in relation to this incident to contact them in Banbridge on 0845 600 8000.

They are also reminding motorists to protect their property.

Crime Prevention Officer, Michelle Wilson, said: “It is important that motorists realise their vehicle can be like a shop window to an unscrupulous thief; if they see it it is likely they will try to steal it. All motorists should take a extra few seconds at the end of a car journey to secure their belongings.

“Store your valuables safely in the boot of your car and leave your vehicle knowing that nothing is ‘on display’. Even if a handbag or briefcase is empty, remove it or conceal it in the boot – a thief won’t know it is empty until they have broken into your vehicle, by which time the damage to your car has already been done.

“The following simple steps can help to prevent being targeted: Park in secure or well-lit locations; Keep all valuables and personal possessions out of sight; Lock bulky items in the boot; Lock doors and boot and close all windows and sunroof; Remove a CD player facia if possible; When removing a Sat Nav wipe the suction cup mark from the windscreen; Consider locking wheel nuts; Remove the keys from the ignition when away from the vehicle.

“If you would like further information you can contact your local Crime Prevention Officer on 0845 600 8000.”