THEFTS from vehicles and criminal damage continue to affect the West Dorset area as police urge motorists against leaving valuables in their cars.

There have been 14 offences in Bridport and the surrounding villages since the beginning of August.

The latest incidents were overnight on August 14 when work items of value were stolen from two different vans parked in Flaxfield Road, Beaminster.

A radio and general construction equipment was stolen from one vehicle and chainsaws and other industrial equipment taken from the other.

Inspector Mike Darby, Bridport Section Commander, said: “Since the start of August 14 offences of theft from motor vehicles have occurred around Bridport town and in the surrounding villages of Salwayash, Beaminster and Powerstock. On one evening five vehicles were either damaged or broken into and items stolen.

“We are linking these crimes and are conducting house to house enquiries and, where appropriate, conducting forensic examinations to identify the offenders and arrest them.

“Should anyone know who committed these offences please either contact us at Bridport Police Station on 101 and ask to speak to me or contact Crimestoppers. In these instances valuable property was left in the vehicles and subsequently stolen.

“Had the vehicles been empty of items then the owners wouldn’t have been impacted so much by the crime, and indeed the crime may not have occurred in the first place.”

Visitors to beauty spots in Dorset are also being warned not to leave anything of value on show in their cars when they leave them at remote car parks.