A SPATE of recent motor vehicle thefts on the Coffs Coast has revealed an average of 20 cars are stolen in the local area every month.
Coffs/Clarence police have warned motorists to be vigilant after several vehicles were tampered with on Tuesday and another car was stolen.
Local crime figures show that last year 255 motor vehicles were reported stolen in the Coffs Harbour local government area.
A further 718 vehicles were broken into in smash-and-grab offences.
Police say early model vehicles left parked in public after dark are particularly at risk of being broken into and hotwired.
Most concerning is that some vehicles have been broken into in broad daylight and in several cases the cars were left unlocked.
On one occasion at Park Beach last week, a thief pounced on an unlocked vehicle which still had the keys left in the ignition.
Police have put the sudden spike in car thefts down to a couple of active car thieves.
Two shopping centre car parks and the education campus have been targeted this week.
Police said car thieves broke into a 1986-model white Holden Commodore in the Park Beach Plaza car park on Tuesday between 5.25am and 10.15am.
The offenders removed the ignition cover and attempted to hotwire the sedan.
A Toyota Hiace left park in the Palms Shopping car park was also broken into and tampered with between 3.30pm and 8.30pm.
Then thieves struck in the education campus car park on Tuesday night, stealing a 1991-model white Holden Commodore with registration plates PZD 103.
Over the weekend two other cars were reported stolen.
A Nissan Skyline went missing from Lyons Rd and was found on fire on the Gleniffer Rd on Saturday night.
A Toyota stolen from the Coramba Hotel on Sunday around 2.30am later crashed on the Orara Way.
Police have urged car owners to ensure their vehicles are locked and secured and not left for long periods in public car parks after dark.
If you have seen anyone acting suspiciously in these areas call Coffs Harbour police via Crime stoppers on 1800 333 000.