Page last updated at 18:12 GMT, Friday, 28 November 2008

Police warn about Ford break-ins

Ford Ka
Around 80% of the cars have had their radios stolen by thieves

Ford Ka owners are being warned to be on their guard after a sharp rise in break-ins across Cardiff.

Thieves have broken into almost 90 cars since August and stolen their radios in the belief that they contain chips which can pick up free satellite TV.

A similar trend occurred two years ago when other Ford cars were targeted for the same reason.

South Wales Police have said the chips cannot be used in this way and that the thieves are wasting their time.

Despite the chips being useless for any other purpose, around 80% of the cars which have been broken into have had their radios stolen.

The worst hit areas across the capital have been Fairwater, where 17 cars have been broken into, Ely where 15 break-ins have occurred, followed by Canton and Cathays, each with 13 reported incidents.

"We would ask anyone who is offered a cheap Ford radio to decline and call us immediately"
Ch Insp Alun Morgan - South Wales Police

In response to this latest break-in trend, officers are distributing free vehicle security packs to victims to help protect their replacement radios and ensure the crimes are not repeated.

Plans are also underway to give the kits to other Ford Ka owners.

Ch Insp Alun Morgan, who is responsible for auto crime in Cardiff, said: "I don't wish to alarm car owners but as police we have a responsibility to make the public aware that Ford Kas are currently being targeted.

"My message to owners is to make sure their cars are secure, register their radio on the www.immobilise.com website and to be vigilant of anyone acting suspiciously.

"They are probably offering these radios for sale cheaply and would ask anyone who is offered a cheap Ford radio to decline and call us immediately."

Anyone with information is asked to contact South Wales Police on 029 2022 2111 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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