Officers in Peterborough are urging people to be vigilant when selling their vehicles privately.
The message follows a spate of car thefts in the city where offenders showed an interest in purchasing a vehicle but not returned it after a test drive.
There have been five incidents over the past few weeks which have primarily been in the Eastgate area but have also occurred in other areas of the city.
Detective Robin Gray is urging people not to leave their vehicles unattended with prospective buyers.
He said: “In many of the incidents, the vehicle documents have been inside the cars which helps offenders to sell them on.
“Please consider removing these documents from the vehicle and be wary when handing your car keys over to a stranger.”
Renata Szabo (32) of Chelverston Way, Peterborough, has been arrested and charged with theft of motor vehicle in relation to these offences and was due to appear at Cambridge Magistrates’ Court today (Thursday, October 20).
Anyone with information about these incidents is asked to call police on 101, or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.