Police in Gloucester are urging parents to find out what their children are up to after two teenagers from the city were convicted of a total of 12 thefts from motor vehicles.
The two boys, aged 16 and 17, were sentenced at Gloucester Youth Court earlier this week.
The 16-year-old boy, who was also convicted of a non-dwelling burglary and criminal damage, was given a three month night time curfew and an eight month youth rehabilitation and supervision order.
The 17-year-old boy was given an eight month referral order which will cover issues such as victim empathy and peer influence.
Both were guilty of a spate of vehicle breaks in Abbeydale at the beginning of July.
Police say that groups of youths have been involved in car crime throughout the city in recent months and local officers are actively monitoring around 15 youngsters who they believe are responsible as part of an ongoing operation.
Inspector Neil Smith said: “I urge parents to ask questions of their children. Please make sure you know where they are and who they are with.
“We know most youngsters are very well behaved and it’s only a small minority that is causing our communities problems. Part of the reason is that some children are being dragged into these groups because of peer pressure.”
Inspector Smith emphasised the need for motorists to protect themselves from falling victim.
“I find it hugely frustrating that a large proportion of our local communities are still not locking their cars at night time.
“Last week a vehicle was left unlocked over night that contained a laptop computer, iPad and wallet, which were all on display. You wouldn’t go to bed leaving your front door unlocked so please make sure your vehicle is locked as well.
”Our team will actively engage with all persons suspected of stealing from motor vehicles and ensure they are dealt with swiftly and put before the courts.
“Can I please ask that our communities remain vigilant and anyone with information contact the police on 101, quoting Operation Pilgrim.
“Of course if an incident is happening at the time please phone 999,” he added.
Information can also be given anonymously on 0800 555 111, or via http://www.crimestoppers-uk.org. In some cases Crimestoppers offer rewards of up to £1000 where information leads to a conviction.