POLICE have issued advice for motorists as the number of cars and vans being broken into is on the rise.

Sergeant Shaun Pearson from Darwen's Neighbourhood police team said he has seen an increase in vehicle crime across the region, and mentioned that several vehicles had been targeted in Darwen in the last few days.

Sgt Pearson said: "Overnight in the Whitehall area, two cars were stolen and one van had a lot of expensive tools stolen.

"I appreciate it can be an inconvenience, but please don't leave tools in your vehicle overnight, it's more inconvenient to have no tools at all."

It is not known how the vehicles are being stolen as many have been locked and secured, but Sgt Pearson advised car owners to invest in an old school steering lock to combat new technology that is enabling thieves to access key code signals on keyless start vehicles.

He added: "Devices are out there to access the electronic code signals from keys which can then be used to open doors therefore making keyless start vehicles more vulnerable to being stolen.

"Faraday bags/pouches shield electronic signals preventing someone using them to open your vehicle. Having just looked on the internet they are widely available and quite inexpensive.

"Another way to combat this technology is to go old school and get a steering wheel lock."