VEHICLE crime has spiked in Chingford and police say they are doing “everything possible” to catch those responsible.
Offences have risen dramatically from 12 in September to 49 across October and November in Chingford Green ward, according to Met statistics.
Records show 17 motor vehicle crimes – including thefts from and of vehicles - were committed in October, with a further 32 offences occurring this month.
Levels are far above the ward average of 16, while Valley ward and Higham Hill are not far behind, with 27 vehicle offences committed in each ward last month.
PC Darren Brand, of Chingford Green safer neighbourhood team, said in a letter to households: “We are doing everything possible to detect and arrest offenders but you can help by taking precautions with your own vehicles by making sure that you lock your vehicle, leave nothing on display and park sensibly in well-lit areas.”
The news comes as police arrested a 27-year-old man on suspicion of stealing cars in Chingford Green ward last week.
Officers were called by a 48-year-old man at about 5.15am on Tuesday when he heard his red Volkswagen camper van being started and driven off outside his house in Woodberry Way.
Police tracked the car to Pole Hill Road, but when they approached the van the thief had broken into a white Suzuki van on the same road.
He drove the van at the police along the pavement, but the officers managed to dodge the vehicle and followed in their own car until they lost it in an industrial estate near the A406.
The 27-year-old was arrested on Thursday and has been bailed until Friday, December 14.
Jillian Jacobs, 40, of Royston Avenue in Chingford, had her Renault Scenic stolen in August from outside her home and said police have just returned it to her after finding it in Enfield.
“It’s distressing how much car crime there is,” she said.
“Police may see it as low-level crime but it really affected me when my car was stolen. You almost don’t realise how much you rely on it until it’s gone.
“The community must step in and do what they can as well because the police are short staffed.”
Epi Tudisca, 71, of Garfield Road in Chingford, said police patrols later at night could deter criminals who target sleeping households.
“It’s an alarming increase,” he said. “I only see police in the daytime and there should be later patrols but you know they’re cutting down and I suppose it’s difficult for them.”
The Guardian has requested an interview with Waltham Forest police.
Anyone who has information regarding the two car thefts in Chingford last week is asked to call police on 101.