LONDON, Aug. 25 (UPI) -- Officials in a London borough said police have been instructed to remove valuables from unlocked cars to teach the owners about safety.
David Williams, the Richmond council's cabinet member for community safety, said the borough council agreed to the plan after statistics showed a sharp increase in thefts from vehicles between April and July, the Daily Mail reported Tuesday.
"We have the lowest level of crime per head of any borough," Williams said. "However, one problem we have got is too many thefts from motor vehicles. The main reason for this is sheer thoughtlessness and carelessness by car owners."
He said police are removing items including purses and satellite navigation devices from cars with unlocked doors or open windows and replacing them with notes informing the owners which police station is holding their property. He said police will only resort to taking custody of the items if they cannot find the owner of the vehicle.
Williams said motorists who leave their doors unlocked but don't have any valuables on display will only receive notes asking them to be more careful.