New figures have shown how many cars have been stolen in North Yorkshire over the last three years.
It comes as a surge in vehicle thefts in some parts of the UK had been linked by police to a shortage of car parts.
Thieves across the country are stripping cars “in a matter of hours” so they can sell the parts for “high prices”, according to a senior officer.
Superintendent Jim Munro of West Midlands Police advised motorists not to assume vehicles left in car parks for only a few minutes are safe.
Some 88,915 thefts of a vehicle during the 12 months to March 7 were recorded by the 34 police forces that provided full figures in response to Freedom of Information requests from the PA news agency.
That suggests an average of 244 vehicles are being stolen every day – one every six minutes.
These are the car thefts in North Yorkshire:
- 12 months to March 7 2020: 531
- 12 months to March 7 2021: 438
- 12 months to March 7 2022: 508.
Six force areas recorded an increase in thefts compared with the same period two years earlier.
They were South Yorkshire (up 28%), City of London (up 25%), West Midlands (up 19%), Surrey (up 12%), Merseyside (up 4%) and Greater Manchester (up 1%).
Factory shutdowns around the world due to the coronavirus pandemic have sparked a shortage of semiconductor chips and other components in countries such as the UK.