POLICE have issued a warning after car windows were smashed during a series of thefts at Dorset beauty spots.

Several incidents were reported over the weekend as spring weather saw an increase in 'opportunist' thefts, with valuable items left on display in cars.

North Dorset Police said that in one incident a reusable shopping bag for life containing "nothing of value" was stolen.

Other incidents saw wallets and purses stolen "meaning the owner had the hassle and distress of cancelling cards" - while a camera was also stolen.

A spokesman for North Dorset Police said: "The team were out at the weekend visiting beauty spot car parks across North and East Dorset. As spring weather approaches we see an increase in opportunist theft from vehicles.

"In the last 14 days we have had approximately four reported thefts from vehicles by smashing windows. Officers found multiple occasions whereby valuable items are seen on display.

"This is not to victim blame but explain that the locations are remote with no power for CCTV. Most if not all have crime signs and we deploy both overt and covert police tactics... however these are spread across a wide geographical area and when patrolling these locations we pull resources from other calls for service.

"As long as the locations are seen as 'soft' targets then offences will continue... please please help us to help you stay safe by leaving no items on display in your vehicle."