Fiat 500 cars are being targeted by thieves, with seven stolen in the area since January 6.

In the most recent theft, one was taken from Smeaton Road in Woodford Green last night.

This year two Fiat 500s were stolen from Buckhurst Hill, two from Chigwell, two from Woodford Green and one from Loughton.

Epping Forest neighbourhood inspector, Andy Fusher, admitted he did not know why Fiat 500s are being targeted.

He added: “We think there are one or two people targeting the cars in the area.

“We need the public to be vigilant and tell us of anything they think might be important so we can find out where these cars are ending up.”

Police believe thieves may be using a vehicle recovery truck to take the cars and advise owners to use a steering lock to deter the criminals.

Anyone with information can call police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.