Thieves tar­get­ing apart­ment car parks

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Western Opinion -

APART­MENT car parks are prov­ing easy pick­ings for thieves in the Perth CBD.

Po­lice are so con­cerned about the emerg­ing crime trend they will take up the is­sue with the City of Perth.

Frus­trated apart­ment res­i­dents say they have run out of ideas to pro­tect their cars and other items stored in com­mon ar­eas that are be­ing tar­geted by thieves.

Items stored in build­ing garages are gen­er­ally not cov­ered by stan­dard con­tents in­sur­ance poli­cies.

In a re­cent in­ci­dent, three cars were bro­ken into at apart­ments on Ter­race Road, Perth around dawn on Au­gust 6.

A se­cu­rity cam­era recorded the thief, who smashed car win­dows and took a lap­top from one car, be­fore he left through a fire es­cape that was left un­locked from the in­side so res­i­dents could es­cape in an emer­gency.

Apart­ment res­i­dents say thieves wait for some­one to drive out of a com­plex’s se­cure base­ment and then walk in­side be­fore the au­to­matic gates close. They then use the fire es­cape to make their get­away.

Res­i­dent Si­mon Spi­tali keeps his new bi­cy­cle in­side his apart­ment on the 18th floor be­cause he had two bi­cy­cles stolen from his com­plex in a year.

It is be­lieved at least another six bi­cy­cles have since been stolen from the com­plex, with thieves us­ing an­gle-grinders to break the locks.

Other res­i­dents said they were sur­prised to re­alise the gates and car parks at their com­plex were not se­cure and they now felt “de­lib­er­ately tar­geted” by crim­i­nals.

Se­nior Sergeant Bren­dan Moore said steal­ing from un­der­ground pri­vate car parks was on the rise be­cause at least one new apart­ment block was built in the CBD ev­ery six months.

“It’s cer­tainly grow­ing in mo­men­tum, and WA Po­lice is very con­cerned about de­sign­ing out se­cu­rity is­sues, and we’ll be speak­ing to the City of Perth about it,” he said.

How­ever, Sgt Moore also pointed out that res­i­dents had a part to play in keep­ing their homes safe, in­clud­ing check­ing car park gates were shut and that no-one else gained en­try when they left or en­tered their build­ings.

Pic­tures: An­drew Ritchie www.com­mu­ni­typix.com.au d442094

Premier Colin Bar­nett tours the new fa­cil­i­ties with prin­ci­pal Rhonda Shee­han.

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