THIEVES broke into five vehicles in an area of the city on Monday night.

All of the break-ins took place in Worcester’s Northwick area, with police treating the offences as linked.

The thieves searched the vehicles and stole items, including a laptop and a mobile phone, from inside three of them.

PC Mandie Gregg, of the Arboretum and Claines Safer Neighbourhood Team, urged residents to take precautionary steps to deter thieves.

She said: “Please ensure that vehicles are secured and locked and do not leave any items of value inside.

“If you have information that you believe may be useful in connection with the incidents, please contact the police on 101.”

The thieves also stole a sat nav and loose change from inside the vehicles.

The incidents took place in Northwick Close, Ombersley Road, Northwick Road, Cornmeadow Lane and Beckett Road between 4pm on February 11 and 08.30am on February 12.

There has been a spate of burglaries or attempted break-ins in the Northwick area in the last couple of months.

A woman spotted three men peeking into houses and cars in Seymour Avenue, in Northwick, at around midnight on January 30.

Police officers later caught the suspected burglars in Northwick Close, Worcester, and found various tools and other items inside their car.

Burglars also struck at six homes in Northwick and Bevere on January 11.

County councillor Andy Stafford, who represents the area, said there was a previous spike in burglaries in 2016.

He added: "There were 25 burglaries in August 2016 and 15 in September 2016, compared to three in August 2018 and six in September 2018.

"They were home burglaries. It was quite an unprecedented number. It was just the sheer volume in the short period of time.

"I believe it was the same group committing a lot of them. I believe they were professional burglars.

"Police suspected it was people coming from outside the area who were targeting this part of Worcester because of the easy access to the motorway."

He added that the burglars used the same method of entry at the homes.

Police teams in south Worcestershire arrested 10 suspected burglars between mid-January and February.