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Police issue warning to Trafford Centre visitors

Posted on February 6, 2023

Range Rovers and Ford Fiestas are among the cars being targeted in a spate of vehicle thefts from shopping centre car parks in Trafford. Police said they have noticed an increase in vehicles being stolen, particularly from the Trafford Centre.

Thieves are said to be using signal jamming and scanning devices to steal people’s cars. Since January 10, 11 arrests have been made by officers, with one vehicle recovered.

Greater Manchester Police have now issued a warning to car owners, as they launch ‘Operation Lexford’, designed to tackle the rising vehicle thefts, with officers working with the Trafford Centre security team. There will be an increased police presence at the shopping centre over the coming months in response.

Chief Inspector Shoheb Chowdhury of GMP’s Trafford District, said: “This operation is an excellent example of GMP’s commitment to tackling vehicle crime across Greater Manchester. A lot of the work GMP does to tackle the issue may not be visible but catching those responsible remains a force priority.

“Cars are of great value to people and we understand that having a car stolen can have a huge impact both financially and emotionally. As part of the operation, there will be an increased police presence at Trafford Centre and we will be holding weekly police surgeries with focus on providing people with tailored crime prevention advice.

“We will continue to work to bring offenders to justice, but I would ask that the public to help us to help them, by being vigilant when visiting the Trafford Centre, and to follow our simple crime prevention advice found on the crime prevention page on our website.

A spokesperson from Trafford Centre said, “Our security and customer services teams take car theft very seriously and we are working closely with Greater Manchester Police on this issue. We minimise car theft on-site through the use of ANPR, CCTV and camera patrols so all vehicles entering and leaving the car parks are monitored and logged.

“This data and footage is made available to GMP as required. We also deploy high profile patrols in all car parks to deter thieves and run multiple police operations on-site to apprehend offenders.”

Police have now warned people of the rise in vehicle thefts, and have issued advice on a number of ways the threat of vehicle thefts can be minimised, including double checking doors are locked, hiding valuables or investing in a steering wheel lock or tracking device. Drivers can also buy a faraday bag which are lined with metal material to block the key’s signal.

(Source – Manchester Evening News)

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