Five cars stolen after owners leave them to defrost in spate of thefts

Police said these kind of crimes are called 'frostings'.

Five cars stolen after owners leave them to defrost in spate of thefts in East Dunbartonshire and West Lothian iStock

Five cars have been stolen after being left with their engines running to defrost during freezing temperatures.

Police said these kind of thefts are called “frostings”.

On Tuesday, December 6, a BMW One Series was taken at 7.50am in Bearsden. An hour later, a Seat Leon was stolen, also in the Bearsden area.

At 6.50am on Thursday, December 8, a Ford Focus ST was taken from the Bishopbriggs area.

A black Volkswagen Passat was taken from a property in Loganlea Road, Addiewell, at about 8.20am on Sunday

A white Vauxhall Corsa, registration SD72 GPZ, was taken from a property on Dick Gardens, Whitburn, at about 9.40am later that day.

On each occasion the owner of the vehicle had left it unattended with the engine running in order to defrost.

The suspect in the West Lothian thefts has been described as a male, aged 20 to 30 years old, of medium build and was wearing a light beanie-style hat and a black top.

It comes as Scotland has seen temperatures plummet with new lows for the year set.

2022’s lowest was updated after -17.3C was recorded in Braemar, Aberdeenshire, on Monday into Tuesday.

Detective Constable David McDougall said: “The owners of both of these vehicles had only momentarily left them unattended while the engine was running in order to defrost the car.

“With temperatures to remain low I would urge residents not to leave their cars unattended as it only takes seconds for an opportunist to take the vehicle.”

After the three incidents in East Dunbartonshire, officers urged people to be vigilant when defrosting their cars.

Community inspector Alan Ferris said: “Even if your car is keyless and you remove the keys or lock the vehicle, it can still be stolen and will not immobilise until the engine is turned off which may be many miles from your home address. “

He added: “With the temperature to remain low for a protracted period this festive period I would plead and urge residents not to be tempted to leave their cars unattended whilst the windows defrost and the interior heats up.

“It literally takes seconds for an opportunist thief to jump in your vehicle and make off.

“Rather than risking your car being stolen other options should be considered such as covering windscreens at night or using a manual scraper or de-icing product.

“Our local community policing team have been patrolling early morning in both plain clothes and uniform and have recovered two of the three vehicles stolen so far.”