OPPORTUNIST thieves are scouring cars for cash and debit cards and using the cards for ‘tapping’ transactions in city shops.
The thieves are targeting cars parked in residential areas throughout the city.
In recent days, cars targeted in the Bishopstown area resulted in credit and debit cards being stolen overnight.
The cards were used within a short time to carry out a number of transactions.
Gardai explained that the cards were used in contactless transactions, which allow for spending of under €30 at a time, without a PIN code.
They were used in the southwest of the city and also in the city centre.
There has been a 4% increase this year in the number of thefts from cars in Cork - 445 incidents in the first ten months of last year, compared with 462 in the same period this year.
Gardaí advise motorists to ensure their vehicles are locked and to never leave valuable items in them when unoccupied.
Garda statistics have revealed that almost one in three cars were unlocked when broken into.
They also advise motorists to park in a secure, well-lit location and stressed that keys should be stored safely, away from view through either windows or letterboxes.