Video: How a sneak thief may catch you off guard this Christmas
Police have released a video of an undercover PCSO showing just how easy it is to fall victim to thieves.
The video has been released by Avon and Somerset Police on the same day as it carried out one of its biggest ever crackdowns against criminals.
The Operation Relentless day of action, which started this morning with dawn raids across the force area, has already seen hundreds of arrests made.
In the video clip, called Gone in Six Seconds, police community support officer Neil Spiring demonstrates a number of ways sneak thieves may try and catch out unsuspecting victims.
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The video's message is simple: "It only takes a few seconds for a thief to act. Don't give thieves a gift this Christmas."
In it, PCSO Spiring demonstrates a number of ways in which a thief may catch someone off guard, including targeting mobile phones, handbags, Christmas shopping, bicycles and cars.
Inspector Keith Rundle said: "The run up to Christmas is a time when people are thinking about spending their hard earned money on buying their loved ones presents. But opportunist thieves and burglars may use this to their advantage.
"We are relentless on pursuing criminals who think that they can steal from others in our communities and putting them before the courts to answer for their crimes.
"Around this time of year we are out on patrol looking out for anything suspicious and we work closely with local retailers and car park companies, for example, to deter and catch thieves.
"But we also need people to be aware of how quickly a mobile phone can be swiped or a shopping bag can be grabbed, that way people can help keep themselves and their property safe and avoid giving criminals a gift this Christmas."
Watch the video below from Avon and Somerset Police's ASPolice YouTube channel.