THE car park of the £10 million showpiece railway station at Apperley Bridge has become a magnet for specialist burglars, according to British Transport Police figures.

West Yorkshire’s first new station for ten years opened in December last year with trains between Leeds and Bradford stopping there for the first time in 50 years.

But its remote car park has made it a hunting ground for thieves targeting Volkswagen cars in order to steal expensive factory-fitted satnav systems and raising questions over CCTV security coverage.

A British Transport Police spokesman confirmed the worrying number of break-ins since it opened.

“We have had 15 offences at Apperley Bridge," said the spokesman. "On each occasion VW vehicles have been broken into and the built satnav systems stolen.

“We are working closely with West Yorkshire Police as similar offences have been taking place in hotel and supermarket car parks across the city.

“We have been undertaking additional patrols, including officers in plain clothes. We believe the thefts are part of an organised gang.

“We would appeal for anyone with any information to contact us on 0800 405040 or text 61016 and to think twice if they are offered a cheap satnav, as they can be prosecuted for handling stolen goods.”

In July West Yorkshire Police put out this warning after a spate of dedicated car crime across Bradford: “Criminals are specifically targetting the VW Group RNS 310 and RNS 510 systems and a security device called an ‘RNS Navi Lock’ can be purchased to prevent criminals stealing your VW Group satellite navigation system.”

Ward councillor Jeanette Sunderland (Lib Dem, Idle and Thackley) campaigned for the new station, but said she was worried British Transport Police’s planning recommendation that the CCTV should be monitored 24 hours a day had not been implemented.

“We were very clear as ward councillors that as an unmanned station it should have monitored CCTV," she said. "Because of all this car crime it’s become clear that has not happened.

“My main concern is that this is a lonely place that’s not overlooked by houses.”

A spokesman for Northern Rail said that at stations which have CCTV installed, such as Apperley Bridge, the system is not live-monitored.