POLICE sent 76 letters to car owners who left valuables on show during an operation to tackle theft at retail parks.

Cheshire Police carried out Operation Androy over the Christmas period.

Figures just released show that 76 letters were sent which warned the owner to take greater care to avoid falling victim to theft.

Sgt Gordon Jack, of Warrington West NPU, which covers Penketh, Great Sankey, Cuerdley, Bewsey, Whitecross, Dallam, Burtonwood, Westbrook, Sankey Bridges and Whittle Hall, said: “The number of letters sent out regarding items left on display shows the value in running an operation to raise public awareness of this issue.

“I think this is the most striking result from the operation.

“We have certainly received positive feedback from the letters and from the stores themselves.”

The operation was carried out on Gemini Retail Park, Alban Retail Park and Tesco Extra on Winwick Road.

Two thefts from cars were reported on Gemini, and one report of shoplifting.

There were also three incidents of people driving off without paying for petrol at the retail park on Europa Boulevard.

Four reports of shoplifting were made at Tesco Extra, where one bike was also stolen.

And police said two cars were wrongly reported stolen on Gemini, after owners had forgotten where they parked.

Sgt Jack added: “I am pleased that we have had no reported thefts of purses or wallets within any of the stores and no reported vehicle crime on either Alban Retail Park or Tesco Extra.

“In terms of going forward, I will consider widening the scope of future operations to cover other retail areas if resources allow.”