Cameras could catch car thieves

Excelsior Street is one of two ways in and out of the estate.
Excelsior Street is one of two ways in and out of the estate.

Residents on a Motherwell estate hit by a spate of housebreakings and car thefts believe the culprits could be trapped by cameras.

More than 50 worried householders attended a public meeting where police assured them they are doing all they can to catch the thieves who are targeting high-performance vehicles on the Excelsior estate.

Over the past month cars have been stolen after housebreakings in Wyvis Place, Challum Drive and Lochnagar Road.

Residents pointed out that there are only two roads into the estate – Range Road and Excelsior Street, both leading off Shields Road – and it was suggested that mobile CCTV cameras could be installed at these junctions in a bid to catch the thieves, who operate in the early hours of the morning.

Councillor Gary O’Rorke promised to raise this issue with North Lanarkshire Council officials.

He said: “Cameras could also be useful in tracking the vehicles which must be dropping off the thieves in the first place.

“There will be very few cars going in and out of the estate at 3-4am.”

Councillor O’Rorke said he’s rarely seen such a turnout as that for the meeting at St Margaret’s Parish Church.

He added: “The theft of high-value cars is bad enough, but what’s of real concern is these characters are breaking into homes for the car keys, although the police have assured residents that this seems to be all they’re after.”

Sergeant Gail Nicol, who addressed the meeting, said homes are being broken into because it’s “almost impossible” to steal a modern car without having the keys.

She urged residents to stay vigilant, report anything suspicious and take simple steps to secure their homes, such as installing light timers inside and lighting outside.

Sergeant Nicol added: “Make sure you do not become complacent or develop bad habits such as leaving keys in locks or in view.”