MOTORISTS in Ribble Valley are being warned to lock their vehicles after a spate of thefts from insecure cars and vans.

Figures from Lancashire Police reveal that almost 70 per cent of thefts from vehicles in the borough last year were from those left unlocked.

The figures show that 180 vehicles were targeted in Ribble Valley in 2013.

It comes after police issued an appeal for witnesses after property was removed from a vehicle parked on a drive way in Langho on Thursday.

The incident happened shortly before 4am at an address in The Rydings.

Car and van owners have been advised that insurers may not pay out for property stolen from an unlocked vehicle.

Kevin Horkin, chairman of the Ribble Valley Community Safety Partnership, said: “Of the reported thefts from cars and vans, nearly three-quarters were from vehicles that had been left unlocked.

“Thieves are targeting unlocked vehicles to steal phones, satnavs, tablet devices and laptop computers.

“We have also had reports of cars being entered to take small change or sports bags, while thieves are targeting vans to steal power tools or copper pipe. Although these figures are relatively low, locking vehicles can go a long way in deterring opportunistic thieves and ensuring Ribble Valley remains one of the safest places in the UK.”

Ribble Valley police inspector Hassan Khan said: “Ribble Valley does have low crime levels, but we should all still be taking sensible steps to protect our property.

“We are asking motorists to take a few seconds to lock their vehicles and ensure they have not left anything on view.

“Residents who see anyone trying car door handles or acting suspiciously around cars or vans are asked to call 999 straight away.”