Spike in thefts puts police on alert 

THERE has been an increase in the number of stolen vehicles in the Leeton area over the past few days and police are concerned.

Since Saturday night, six vehicles have either been stolen or attempts have been made to steal them.

The vehicles involved had been parked in driveways, carports and on front yards of homes in Coolibah Street, Waratah Street, Calrose Street, Lily Lane, Park Avenue and Willow Street.

Of the six stolen cars, one vehicle has yet to be recovered.

In the latest incident, a 1985 Ford Falcon was stolen from a driveway in Willow Street in the early hours of Wednesday morning and was driven to Griffith where it was set alight in Boree Street.

Police investigating the thefts are hoping to identify five young men they believe may be able to assist with inquiries.

The five, believed to be teenagers, were seen pushing the vehicle stolen from Calrose Street and fled after being disturbed.

Inspector Tony Reneker of Griffith Local Area Command said one of the stolen cars had keys left in the ignition.

"Residents should make it as difficult as possible for these offenders by securing their vehicles to the best of their ability," Inspector Reneker said.

Police are reminding residents to lock their vehicles, even if it is parked in a driveway. They should also remove any valuables from their cars.

Inspector Reneker said there were a number of ways residents could assist police investigating the recent thefts.

"Firstly, if they witness anyone in the act of stealing or attempting to steal a vehicle they should ring 000 immediately," he said.

"If anybody has information about the identity of the young men, or if they see anybody acting suspiciously they should contact Leeton police station immediately on 6953 1399."

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