Are valuables out of sight?
When I consider that my staff and I provide close to 50 of these columns a year, it’s highly likely you’re going to get a prevention message from us, which you’ve probably heard before.
This column is just that, and it’s about the continual opportunities people are providing to criminals to break into their vehicles and steal property from them. The sad reality is, there are criminals out there who move about, generally under the cover of darkness, looking for vehicles to break into.
Over the past couple of weeks we’ve seen an increase in the usual reporting of these offences. Disturbingly, many of the vehicles targeted have been parked in the victim’s driveway, very close to their houses.
Every day as I read these reports, it’s obvious to me that our messaging around not leaving valuables in your vehicles is not getting through. The reports list the property stolen from the vehicles, and the usual items appearing on those lists include handbags, wallets, laptops, cellphones and power tools.
While it would be nice to live like we did in years gone by, where we were able to leave our vehicles unlocked in our driveways, times have changed.
We really do need to heed the messages around locking our vehicles at all times and never leave any valuables in view in the vehicle. If you cannot remove items from your vehicle, ensure they’re out of sight or in the boot.
If your vehicle has an alarm, please ensure it is set. If you’re a tradesman who needs to leave tools in your vehicle, consider having an alarm installed.
If possible, leave vehicles locked in your garage, but if this is not possible consider installing sensor lights or even CCTV cameras in the area of your property that you leave vehicles overnight. The majority of these theft offences occur during the hours of darkness, often in the early hours of the morning. Should you hear or see anything suspicious at all around your property or out on the street, please call us on 111.
Safely observe any persons and try and get a description of them, and the direction in which you last saw them heading.
Remember: Lock it or lose it.