Are valu­ables out of sight?

Eastern Courier - - YOUR LOCAL NEWS - HOW­ICK SERGEANT BRETT MEALE

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.

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