Police officers are seeing up to 50 offences a month of thefts from cars. 

Inspector Ben Richards of Ipswich West and Hadleigh said up to six victims can be impacted in one incident as he issued a warning following a recent spate of thefts in the town and wider area. 

He said this is primarily a problem in densely populated areas of Ipswich with no driveways including Norwich Road, Bramford Road, Bramford Lane and on the other side of town in Felixstowe Road.

“They just walk down the road trying handles as they go.” He added.

Among the items taken in incidents include tools, wallets, laptops as well as expensive cars. 

In regards to more organised offences, it is suspected that gangs come to Suffolk and carry out two or three thefts before returning two to three months later. 

Inspector Richards said: “We have also recently had a few high value vehicle thefts in particular drivers of Mercedes, Jaguars and Land Rovers and it is starting to creep into a Korean electric vehicle market.

“They are using some quite complex technology where they can clone keys so they can take it and drive it off without the key.”

He said anyone with one of these cars should keep their keys away from the front door and ideally in a Farad Box, which will prevent cloning.

He reiterated the importance of removing valuables and locking vehicles, especially in instances where bank cards are taken.

Insp Richards said: “It’s been ongoing for around the last 12 months. We’re getting between 40-50 offences a month in the south of Suffolk.

The inspector said: "With contactless technology what happens now is they will take a selection of those debit cards they’ve found in people’s vehicles to overnight garages or 24-hour convenience stores and they will use the contactless method to spend as much as they can until that card stops working.

“They can get a few hundred pounds from that card in purchases in a really short period of time.

“Despite that whenever we catch one of them, they have usually affected five or six victims before we catch up with them because they can hit multiple streets around the town in one night and they will find multiple vehicles and spend really quickly."

When offenders are caught and prosecuted, the officer said the force can apply for a criminal behaviour orders which can look to stop reoffending by imposing curfews.

Insp Richards said: “Lock your vehicles, they will go for loose change, sunglasses, valuables.

“If you are a workman and you have tools in a van then you could take those tools out or mark them or keep the serial numbers because then when we find them we can identify who they belong to.”