The Christmas spirit is nowhere to be seen as thieves go "window shopping" stealing Christmas presents from cars in the central city, Hamilton police say.
Police are warning shoppers to take extra security precautions with their cars after a spate of reported thefts from vehicles parked in central city carparks and on the streets.
Hamilton City area commander Inspector Paul Carpenter says thieves are taking advantage of the busy Christmas shopping period and taking anything from clothing and CDs to people's shopping. If you must leave items in your car, put them in the boot, he says.
"At this time it is obviously busy in the central city and there is a huge increase in the number of people in town. It's so easy just to drop your shopping off in the car and go off and leave it for a while. But we are finding that thieves are targetting those cars with shopping inside and when people return to their cars, their day's shopping is gone.
"Use your boot - don't leave anything on the back seat."
Mr Carpenter said it was essential that shopping - or any other items of value - were not left in parked cars. The Knox St carpark was once again being hit hard, often in the evenings. There had also been a run of car break-ins in Nawton.
Police are urging shoppers to keep a lookout for any suspicious behaviour around parked cars, either on the street or in carparks. If you see anyone acting suspiciously, contact police immediately.