Drivers warned after rise in taxi break-ins

Cabbies have been warned not to leave valuables or money in their vehicles. Picture: Ian Georgeson

Cabbies have been warned not to leave valuables or money in their vehicles. Picture: Ian Georgeson

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FRESH concerns have been raised about opportunist thieves after a spate of taxi break-ins in the Capital.

A string of incidents in the west of the city this week is the latest in a long list of cases across Edinburgh in the past year.

Taxis have been targeted across the city. Picture: PA

Taxis have been targeted across the city. Picture: PA

Police have warned taxi drivers to ensure they do not leave any valuables in their cabs overnight.

But cabbies – many of whom have security notices in their vehicles – say this does not deter the thieves.

A total of five vehicles were broken into in the Corstorphine and Craigmount areas on Wednesday night, leaving drivers off the road while they await repairs.

Les McVay, company secretary at City Cabs, said taxi break-ins had been a problem for the last 12 months. He said was saddened to hear about the latest spate, as he was hopeful that the trend was declining.

Mr McVay, who revealed earlier this month that the firm was giving drivers the option to install CCTV, said: “We have got stickers in the taxis to say there’s no valuables, but they still break in. They’ve been hitting cabs all over the place – Mountcastle, Leith, Baberton Mains, Easter Drylaw, there’s been quite a few.

“It seems to be one individual guy that might hit an area, and try six or seven taxis on a night.

“Having CCTV in the taxi should combat that because it would be recorded.”

Mr McVay, who has been a taxi driver for 35 years, said the thieves left empty-handed most of time. He added: “It’s the inconvenience of having the window broken, and being off the road. Taxi drivers usually make sure they have not left anything in their cabs.”

Chief Inspector Stevie Dolan, local area commander for West Edinburgh, said: “Police are investigating following five break-ins to taxis in Corstorphine and Craigmount.

“The break-ins occurred on Wednesday. Inquiries into these incidents are ongoing.

“Anyone with information is asked to contact Police Scotland on 101.”

The CCTV cameras which are being installed in 40 City Cabs vehicles have only been approved by the council under certain conditions.

Footage will only be viewed if the police or the council need to see it.

The cameras are also fitted with a part-time audio function that will give drivers the ability to record what is being said in their taxi for four minutes if they were being verbally abused.