West Midlands Police is again warning drivers not to leave cars defrosting with the engine running after a second spate of motor vehicle thefts this morning (30/11).

Officers are now investigating 15 thefts after a further 11 vehicles, with a combined value in excess of £200,000, were taken this morning after being left unlocked on the drive with their keys in the ignition.

Opportunist car thieves watch the weather forecast and police are advising car owners not to nip back inside their home when a car is defrosting.

Sergeant Andy Gregory, from the West Midlands Police Crime Reduction officer, is reinforcing the warning to never wander off and leave your car running to defrost.

He, said: “It may be surprising but we continue to see people leaving their cars with the keys in on their drives on icy mornings. It takes an opportunistic thief just seconds to jump into a vehicle and drive it off so it really isn’t worth the risk.

“Car security has a come a long way but by leaving keys in the car and the engine running it couldn’t be easier for someone to steal it.

“Sometimes people think they are being security conscious by locking the door of the car with a spare set of keys, while leaving the other set in the ignition.

“However thieves will quickly and happily smash a window in order to drive away in your vehicle.”

Police advice is to clear windscreens with de-icer and a scraper and sit in the vehicle while the heater de-mists the windscreen.

Anyone with information about today’s car thefts is asked to call police on 101, or the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

For more vehicle safety and crime prevention advice please visit: http://www.west-midlands.police.uk/advice-centre/crime-reduction/vehicle-security/index.aspx