Thieves smashed into a car and stole a sat-nav right outside a hall where police were warning residents to beware amid a steep rise in break-ins.
And officers say they have been met with hostility when trying to help those who leave cars unlocked or filled with valuables overnight.
Kenilworth’s beat manager and SNT sergeant both attended Monday’s community forum at Wardens Cricket Club to reiterate the importance of keeping valuables out of sight.
The new deputy police and crime commissioner, Dr Eric Wood, was also present to speak about policing across Warwickshire.
But within no more than an hour of the meeting, thieves had smashed the window of a car parked outside and taken the navigation device inside.
Beat manager, Pc Pete King told forum members that while some crime is down across town, others - including break-ins and thefts from cars and houses- are on the up.
Pc King said: “There is a complacency across Kenilworth that you are not going to be targeted.
“Half of these vehicles have had items on display or have not even been locked.
“There are a lot of items being left on show and that is only going to attract thieves.
“We can only continue to say it, please, please take care of your valuables.”
In the first 18 days in November, 16 incidents of theft were reported.
Over one night eight break-ins were reported.
And at least half of the total number were a result of either valuables being left on display or, in some cases, cars not even being locked overnight.
But Sgt Dave Kettle said that warnings were falling on deaf ears as residents refused to listen to concerned officers.
“There are times where police have been given a fairly short shrift when knocking on doors to advise people about items they can see left in unsecured cars,” he said.
“These officers have been told in no uncertain terms to get lost, and for Kenilworth, that attitude seems shocking.
“Figures for these crimes are on the up and we need to all act to stop this happening.”
Announcing the break-in outside the forum to hammer home the seriousness of the message, he said it was ‘lucky’ no other cars were targeted.
“As we have been talking here tonight a sat-nav has been taken,” he told residents.
“Someone has smashed this car’s window and gone in, and it is as easy as that.
“There is a car nearby with a sat-nav on display and it was lucky this time. This is just making it easy for them.”
On November 27, offenders smashed three windows and sprayed an unknown substance on a van in Mill Hill. On November 19, a handbag was stolen from an unlocked vehicle outside Stoneleigh village hall.