Breaking into cars is “still the crime of choice for thieves in Merton”, police have said in an appeal for help to solve a flurry of recent thefts.

In several cases reported by Merton police this week, cars were left unlocked and plundered for valuables, but in others the thieves had broken in and ripped out parts of the vehicle.

A catalytic converter was stolen from a minibus parked in College Fields Business Centre in Prince George’s Road, South Wimbledon, while a car battery was stolen from a van in the same road.

Wheels were also stolen from a car in Radnor Close, Pollards Hill, while an unlocked car was targeted in Wheatstone Close, Colliers Wood, and two unsecured bicycles were stolen in St Helier Avenue, Morden.

Sports venues in Raynes Park were also targeted, after cars were broken into at Raynes Park Sports Ground in Taunton Avenue, Wimbledon Rugby Club in Barham Road and Wimbledon Goals in Beverley Way, which police said was a repeat target for motor vehicle crime.

A car was also broken into at Raynes Park High School, in Bushey Road, where the driver’s door lock was forced open.

Other vehicles break-ins happened at Cardinal Avenue, in Lower Morden, Fox’s Path in Mitcham, and Donne Place, a cul-de-sac next to Mitcham Common.

Anyone with information should call police on 101 or anonymously to the charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.