Former thief helps anti-crime drive

A former thief has been roped in to assist police in their campaign to tackle vehicle crime during the festive season.

For 10 years, James Hazell stole from vehicles and shops and committed burglaries to support his £50-a-day heroin addiction. The 25-year-old from Leicester has admitted to breaking into 100 cars and has served two prison sentences.

But he is now drug-free and is giving advice to motorists on how to safeguard their vehicles against criminals and protect theircar insurance premiums.

Leicestershire Police is hoping Mr Hazell's services will help it with a drive to reduce thefts from vehicles, which traditionally spike during the run up to Christmas.

Mr Hazell, who is nearing the end of his supervision period with the Probation Service, is using his experience to tell drivers how best to avoid attracting thieves.

He said: "I'd go out at night and try car doors and boots. It's hard to believe how many people leave their cars unlocked.

"I once stole a £700 camera that had been left in the boot of an unlocked car.

"People sometimes leave things like satnavs and the front of radios under seats, but that's the first place I would look."

A video of the 25-year-old giving security tips has also been posted on YouTube.

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