Christmas shoppers are been urged to remain vigilant for thieves operating in retail car parks.
New figures show that €400,000 worth of goods was stolen from shoppers' cars in Ireland last year.
Gardaí say incidents are most common on Tuesdays and Fridays between 12 noon and 6pm, with thefts rising in December.
The most common items taken are cash, electronics, tools and handbags.
Sergeant Kelvin Courtney of the Garda Bureau of Community Engagement Unit stated: "Customers should be careful while shopping. Always park in well-lit and secure areas. When you leave your car, lock all doors and windows and double check to make sure. Don’t leave property or cash on view, take it with you. Report all thefts and suspicious activities to staff or Gardaí.
"We strongly encourage shoppers to engage in safe parking as over 50 incidents of theft from vehicles at retail car parks occur every month. With an average loss of €600 per incident, many of these thefts are avoidable. Following some of these simple steps will make sure your Christmas doesn’t get spoiled by theft,” said Sergeant Courtney.
"There are also over 100 thefts from customers in shops every month. Handbags are being targeted when left in trolleys or hanging on buggies. The handbag itself isn’t always the item that is taken, sometimes objects within the handbag are targeted too and often they are not immediately noticed missing by the owner. Mobile phones are the most commonly stolen object.”