Residents urged to ‘lock it or lose it’
Paraburdoo police are urging workers and residents in town to lock their car doors after a recent series of thefts of unlocked vehicles.
Acting Sergeant Lance Munckton said the number of thefts police had seen was unusual for Paraburdoo.
“There have been seven cases since the middle of December, but four or five have happened in the last week,” he said.
The vehicles were all work utes and were used for “joy rides”.
No property was taken, but some were found damaged.
Sgt Munckton said leaving cars unlocked seemed to be related to the workplace practice of shift workers frequently changing vehicles.
“The policy (companies and sub-contractors) advocate is for the vehicle to be secured,” he said.
“It’s just a behaviour people utilising a vehicle have gotten into because it’s easy for them, getting in and out of a vehicle several times a day.”
Last Thursday, Paraburdoo police charged one juvenile on three counts of stealing a motor vehicle, two counts of having no authority to drive, and one count of stealing in relation to a stolen motorbike in Tom Price. They are interviewing more people.
In the meantime, they are running a public education drive to encourage people to lock their car doors by posting information on public notice boards, asking companies to reinforce their rules, and checking cars parked at the airport, where most of the vehicles have been stolen from.
Sgt Munckton said it was a matter of changing mindsets.
“You can’t have that don’t lock your doors mentality anymore,” he said.
“The prior behaviour in Paraburdoo was that you could leave things unlocked.”
He said people should remember to “lock it or lose it”.