Lincolnshire Police are trying to raise awareness of car crime in Lincoln with a covert operation this week.
The Bracebridge Heath Neighbourhood Policing Team patrolled the Washingborough area on October 27 in plain clothing, looking for cars left unlocked with valuable items on display.
They had enough time to identify the vehicles, open the doors, have a look around, and even take some pictures, all while the owners were unaware.
During the operation, no one called police to report the plain clothes officers going through people’s unlocked cars, or any suspicious behaviour.
PCSO Katie Munroe said: “We wanted to make people aware exactly how easy it is for offenders to steal from an insecure vehicle and how tempting it is to steal from them when valuables are left on show.
“On Monday between 6.30pm and 8.30pm we patrolled up and down driveways checking for insecure vehicles and for any vehicles with valuables on show.
“A number of vehicles drove past us while we were on people’s driveways and we have not had any calls into our force control room reporting suspicious activity.
“We were approached by one person asking what we were up to whilst we were stood on a neighbour’s driveway shining a torch into the vehicle.
“Two vehicles were found to be insecure and three vehicles had valuables on show. The owners of these vehicles were spoken to and advised.
“Further checks have been done in full uniform during both daytime and evening in the Heighington and Waddington areas and several vehicles were also insecure. Owners were given suitable advice.
“Hopefully those people we spoke to at the time will now start making changes, and others will be more aware.”