A GANG of thieves have been prowling the streets on the hunt for opportunities to steal valuables from cars.

Police suspect the groups have been targeting vehicles with items on show, after five cars were broken into in just 36 hours on Thursday and Friday last week.

The thieves made off with a satellite navigation system and a Kindle E-reader after the spate of break-ins in Ferndale Road, Cricklade Road, Bright Street, Collett Avenue and Medlar Court, in Pinehurst.

Meanwhile, a Renault Clio was stolen in Rayfield Grove during the same period, although it was later recovered in Haydon View Road on Friday morning.

Neighbourhood officers said there may be a link between this series of crimes and a similar spate in August, when seven cars, many parked on the driveways of victims’ homes across the Rodbourne, Pinehurst and Grange Park areas, were broken into.

PC Dave Johnson said this time the group smashed the rear window of cars to try to access to their boots.

He said: “Five vehicles in five different streets were broken into overnight. They are all within walking distance and we believe it may have been a group of people.

“The only things they stole were on display in the cars, a Kindle and a sat nav, and so I would urge poeple not to leave things out in view.

“With Christmas coming up, people should be wary and not hide any presents for their children in their vehicles.

“We think there may be a link between this recent series and the one we had in August, although the way they operate is different. Last time they were just trying door handles, whereas this time they were smashing the rear windows, probably to gain access to the boot.

“The stolen Renault Clio we don’t think was connected and we believe it may have been taken for joyriding purposes rather than a getaway vehicle.

“The site where it was found is still within walking distance of the area of the thefts.

“I would urge witnesses to come forward and also for people to report any suspicious activity to us immediately.”

Anyone with any information should contact Wiltshire Police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.