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Three arrests after 'frosty' car thefts

Several cars were stolen in Belfast as people de-iced their vehicles.

Three men have been arrested after a spate of car thefts in Belfast as vehicle owners defrosted their cars.

Thursday, 10 January 2013
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Two men aged 24 and one aged 28 years were arrested on Thursday evening in the Dunmurry area on suspicion of handling stolen goods.

They are currently assisting police with their enquiries.

Five cars were taken from outside homes in the south, east and north of the city on Thursday morning. Some of the areas targeted included Rosetta Park, Ardenlee Green and Orangefield Avenue.

Police warned motorists not to leave their cars unattended with the engines running as it presents a gift to opportunistic thieves, but Chief Inspector Gabriel Moran said he believes the thefts may have been organised.

"My officers are conducting a number of lines of inquiry are being investigated including the possibility that the incidents may be linked," he said.

It is possible that thieves aware of the cold weather took the opportunity to drive around looking for unsuspecting victims.

Chief Inspector Moran

The police chief warned drivers not to leave their car engine running or leave keys unattended, as it could give thieves the opportunity to take it and may invalidate insurance policies.

He urged motorists to be aware of their surroundings and added, "Police would advise motorists to sit in the vehicle for the few minutes it takes to clear windows and heat the interior."

A black Renault Scenic, a black VW Polo, two black VW Golfs and a white Ford Kuga were taken.

One of the vehicles stolen, a VW Golf has been recovered.

Anyone who noticed unusual activity in the Rosetta, Orangefield, Harberton or Antrim Road areas, or saw the cars being stolen, is asked to contact police.