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A MOTORIST had the contents of her handbag strewn across her street, while another person’s car was broken in for just 20p, during a spate of car break-ins.

Basildon Police are urging people to lock up their cars and keep valuables out of sight after nine cars were broken into between Sunday and Monday.

The cars were all parked within a mile of each other in Langdon Hills and police fear vehicles are being targeted by opportunist crooks.

Sunglasses, reading glasses, a car stereo and an iPod were taken.

Sgt Paul Costin, from the Basildon and Billericay Neighbourhood Policing team, said: “Don’t keep valuables on display or in your vehicle overnight. Protect yourself from becoming a victim of crime.

“I would urge residents to report any suspicious activity in their neighbourhood to Essex Police and to ensure their cars and locked.”

Thieves broke in to an Audi and a VWGolf parked outside a house in Welbeck Drive at around 3am on August 18 and stole an iPod.

A woman found the contents of her handbag strewn across the street outside her home after her Audi was broken in to outside her home in Forest Glade.

Crooks also targeted a Ford Puma which was parked outside another property in Welbeck Drive between 8am on August 17 and 10am on August 18. They stole 20p from the front console.

A car in Wiskam was tampered with overnight between August 17 and 18. The thieves got into the BMW, but did not steal anything.

Rayban sunglassses and a car stereo worth £340 were taken from a Volkswagon Passat as it was parked inDurdens, between 10pm on August 17 and 10am on August 18.

A black Volkswagon Golf, parked in the same street at the same time, was broken into and £15 was taken.

Thieves broke into an Audi parked outside a house in Ross Way. They ransacked the car, but did not take anything.

In the final break-in, crooks stole Police glasses worth £100 from a black Audi as it was parked in New Avenue between 2am and 8.45am.

Officers from Basildon handed out leaflets to warn residents and have been making house to house enquiries.

Anyone with information should contact Essex Police on 101 or, alternatively, leave information anonymously with Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.