Crime File: Cold-car thieves strike in the snow

POLICE are urging motorists to be wary of opportunist car thieves during the cold snap after three 'frost jacking' incidents in Leeds.

Three cars were stolen this week from outside owners' homes after they started the engines to de-ice them and left their vehicles unattended.

A black Ford Fiesta, registration YF56 OLA, was stolen from Croft Street, Farsley, after the owner left the engine running outside his house at around 12 noon on Tuesday.

At around 6pm on Monday, thieves stole a red Hyundai Accent from Broadlea Hill, Bramley, after it was left with its engine running.

The car was later found in Borrowdale Crescent, Armley.

One of the thieves in that incident is described as a white man, who was 5ft 8ins to 5ft 10ins tall.

He was wearing a beige hat, navy sweatshirt with a large logo on the front and navy blue Adidas tracksuit bottoms.

Just after 1.30pm on Monday, a black Renault Megane, registration MD55 BGO, was stolen from Bradford Road, Stanningley, after it was left unattended with the engine running.

Det Insp Dan Greenwood, of North West Leeds Division, said: "Leaving your car unattended with the engine running is an open invitation to opportunist thieves. We hope these recent incidents will serve as a warning to others not to do it.

"While it might seem more convenient to leave your engine running and keep warm inside your house, having your car stolen is a massive inconvenience, particular when some insurers may refuse to pay out for thefts in these circumstances.

And, a van owner, managed to get his vehicle back through an on board tracking device.

Det Insp Greenwood added: "Either stay in your car while it warms up or use a scraper and de-icer to make sure your view is clear before setting off."

Anyone who witnessed the incidents or has any information about the thefts is asked to contact the Divisional Intelligence Unit at Weetwood police station via 0845 6060606.

Or contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Police's thin ice warning over frozen lakes and ponds

POLICE in Leeds are urging people to avoid the dangers of frozen ponds and lakes during the sub-zero temperatures this week.

Sub zero temperatures have even formed ice on running stretches of the River Aire and partial icing of lakes and ponds present a terrible freezing cold danger to the unwary.

And, with the cold snap set to continue throughout the festive period, officers from the Rothwell Neighbourhood Policing Team are echoing a national call encouraging people to take very great care when walking near to local ponds and lakes.

The warning comes after the team received a call on Sunday night from a concerned member of the public who spotted a group of four teenagers stood on the frozen pond between Blenkinsop Drive and Sharp Lane, in the New Forest Village estate, Rothwell.

Officers received the call just before 9pm and attended within minutes, but by the time they arrived the group of girls and boys had left the area.

Insp Sue Jenkinson, who leads the Rothwell Neighbourhood Policing Team, said: "The extreme danger of playing on or near to frozen ponds and lakes is all too obvious.

"This incident could have had far more serious consequences. I would encourage members of the public to steer clear of ponds and lakes and I would ask dog-walkers to keep their pets on leads when walking near to ponds or lakes as they can be tempted to run towards other animals."

Dad who lost son makes anti-drink and drive plea

A FATHER who lost his son in a drink driving collision is urging people to reconsider before they get behind the wheel after a drink.

Officers from West Yorkshire Police are out in force to target those who drive whilst under the influence of drink or drugs.

Tony Davison, from Otley, lost his son when he was involved in a collision caused by drink driving.

Tony - who now volunteers for road charity BRAKE - said: "I was woken up at 3.40am by the Police knocking at my door. Your head's computing what they're telling you but it doesn't feel real. You think you're in a nightmare and are just waiting to wake up. I wouldn't wish it on anybody else - that knock on the door - that death notice being delivered.

His son Adrian was killed in November, 2002. He was 18 years old and the passenger in a car. His best friend was driving and had been drinking. Both of them died in the collision.

Tony added: "It was a tragic and unnecessary waste of two young lives. There isn't a day that hasn't gone by that I don't miss him. I actually spoke to Adrian at 11.45pm on 3rd November - the accident happened at 12.03am on 4th November

"My message to anyone who thinks that drink or drug driving is worth the risk is simple - it's not. If you kill someone you live with it for the rest of your life. You can't calculate a safe drink limit. It's just not worth taking the risk for a couple of pints.

mark.lavery@ypn.co.uk

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