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

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

Three cars stolen after owners leave them to defrost in spate of thefts in East Dunbartonshire iStock

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

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.

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

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

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

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

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.

“We are also hand delivering crime prevention advice letters with the assistance of Police Scotland Youth Volunteers however this crime is utterly preventable and can be eliminated by simply not leaving your vehicle to defrost unattended. Please help us keep your car and property safe.”