POLICE have issued a desperate appeal for drivers to make sure their cars are locked after a spate of opportunistic thefts from vehicles.

There have been 18 thefts from cars across Clacton since November 1.

Officers say the incidents were all down to drivers not locking their cars.

Crime reduction officer at Clacton David Gillies said: “We have seen a big increase in thefts from motor vehicles this month.

“This is not happening in specific areas, but all across Clacton.

“The problem is that people are not taking enough care to lock their cars.

“Opportunistic thieves are walking around trying handles, and in a lot of cases they are getting lucky and finding cars unlocked.

“These are all very preventable crimes, we just need to get the message across to people to double check that they have locked their cars when they leave them.”

A range of items have been stolen from the cars, including lose change, sat-navs and CDs.

Police have also warned vehicle owners not to keep valuables on display.