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Rise in "Frosting" incidents across Staffordshire as thieves target defrosting unattended vehicles

Staffordshire Police are appealing to motorists not to leave their keys in the ignition and engines running while they defrost their windscreens following recent vehicle thefts in the county.

It comes following three recent incidents on frosty mornings where people have left their cars unattended, with the keys in the ignition. They were first called to an address off Bridgnorth Road, Enville, just after 7.10am on Wednesday (7 December). A white Mitsubishi L200 was stolen from the driveway of the address between 6.50am and 7am on Wednesday (7 December). The vehicle was last seen at around 7.35am on the A459 Wolverhampton Road on the same day. Shortly after, just after 7.40am, they were called to another vehicle theft this time in Bradeley, Stoke-on-Trent. The victim reported a white Peugeot 208 was stolen from the driveway of an address off Hayes Street at 7.42am. A witness reported seeing two men approach the car and left the scene with the Peugeot. One of the men was seen wearing a blue hoody while the other man was seen wearing a fur hat. At 7.50am on Wednesday (7 December), a red Vauxhall Corsa was stolen from an address off Main Street, Burton-on-Trent. A witness reported seeing a man, described to be in his 20s, and around 5ft 9ins in height, driving off from the address in the Corsa. The Corsa has since been recovered and was located on Northumberland Road, Burton-on-Trent. We are currently carrying out house-to-house inquiries and reviewing CCTV footage of the areas at the time of the incidents. Inspector Scott Gidman, of East Staffordshire Local Policing Team, said:

“Don’t make it easy for opportunist thieves - they don’t even have to go to the trouble of breaking into your vehicle if you have left it running for them. Your insurance company may not pay out if your vehicle is stolen in this way. “Please give yourself a bit more time in a morning to prepare your vehicle safely before you set off, to help you to stay safe on the roads. “Dig out the scraper and de-icer so that you can de-frost your windows, or use a windscreen cover overnight. “If you need to defrost your vehicle ensure you stay with it and don't leave it unattended with the keys inside.”

For more information on how to prevent vehicle theft, you can visit their website. Anyone who has any information of the above incidents, are asked to contact Staffordshire Police on Facebook, Twitter, or call 101.

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