CAR criminals can strike in a matter of seconds if they are given the opportunity and they very often do.

But police say that by sparing just one minute - motorists can stop crime and the chances of becoming a victim.

In another prong to the all out attack on vehicle crime, community safety officer at Altrincham, PC Tony Crompton says that 60 seconds of checks could save a lot of heartache.

He told SAM: "All the checks are quick and simple and I know it is a repeated message - but these simple measures DO put off the thieves."

The simple 60 second check consist of:

15 SECONDS - remove any personal possessions or valuables from sight before setting off.

15 SECONDS - park safely in a well lit place facing out of the parking space.

5 SECONDS - remove audio equipment front panel and take it with you.

10 SECONDS - lock all doors, close all windows, lock the boot and close the sunroof, take the ignition key with you.

10 SECONDS - fit or engage any vehicle security devices or alarms fitted to the vehicle.

5 SECONDS - put down the aerial and leave window wipers in 'parked' position to avoid damage to them.

Tony added: "The message to get across as we move into the 21st century is 'Spare a Minute - Stop A Crime'. "

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