Police are warning car owners to mind their possessions after wave of thefts targeting vehicles in the Swanley area was reported.

Kent Police, investigating the incidents that targeted valuables left behind by car users inside their vehicles, said a number of such offences had occurred in recent days in West Kent villages.

The latest happened yesterday (Wednesday, February 24) in Swanley, when "bank cards were said to have been taken from a vehicle parked in Beech Avenue" according to a police statement.

Other instances reported this month included locking wheel nuts being stolen from a car overnight that was parked on Paddock Close, in South Darenth (February 18), and the breaking in and searching of a parked car on London Road, West Kingsdown (February 16).

"We suspect opportunist thieves are targeting vehicles in rural villages, during the hours of darkness," District Commander, Chief Inspector Mark Stubberfield said.

"I would urge owners to remove anything of value overnight and ensure all doors are locked and windows are fully closed.

"If possible park in a garage or a well-lit secure car park and, if you have a satnav, take the time to remove suction marks from your windscreen or dashboard.

"These simple precautions are the best way to ensure the safety of your personal property," he added.

Anyone with information which may assist the Kent Police investigations is asked to call 01622 604100 quoting reference 24-0254