Spring her­alds ve­hi­cle thefts

The Weekly Advertiser Horsham - - News - BY LEAD­ING SE­NIOR CON­STA­BLE LINDA MCLEN­NAN

Wim­mera po­lice are re­mind­ing peo­ple to lock their cars, with Septem­ber and Oc­to­ber his­tor­i­cally as­so­ci­ated with a spike in the num­ber of thefts from mo­tor ve­hi­cles.

You might be sur­prised to learn just how com­mon this of­fence has be­come.

Un­for­tu­nately, the days of leav­ing our ve­hi­cles un­locked and as­sum­ing that no-one will take the op­por­tu­nity to open your ve­hi­cle door and have a look in­side are gone.

Gen­er­ally, thieves will sim­ply try the door han­dle of a ve­hi­cle, and if it is found to be un­locked, then qui­etly open the door and steal what­ever you might have in­side the car.

Often peo­ple leave money, par­tic­u­larly coins, mo­bile phones, Ipads, lap­tops, CDS, hand­bags, wal­lets and other items in plain view in their un­locked ve­hi­cles.

At times, if a thief can view an item of value in the ve­hi­cle, they might even break a win­dow to reach in and take the item.

Sadly, leav­ing our ve­hi­cles un­locked en­cour­ages thieves to be op­por­tunis­tic and look for an easy theft.

What po­lice are sug­gest­ing is that you form the habit of lock­ing your ve­hi­cle ev­ery time you step out of it, whether this is in the cen­tral busi­ness dis­trict while shop­ping, vis­it­ing friends, at a lo­cal foot­ball or net­ball game, dur­ing the day or in the evening.

Po­lice also sug­gest that you re­move any­thing of value from your ve­hi­cle, or if you must leave an item of value in the ve­hi­cle, lock the item in the boot so it can­not be seen or re­moved from the car.

If you have been the vic­tim of a theft then you will re­alise the aw­ful feel­ing of won­der­ing if the thieves have ac­cessed your bank ac­count be­fore you have had time to can­cel your credit cards; or the in­con­ve­nience of having to re­place all the per­sonal items within your wal­let or hand­bag; or the cost of re­plac­ing or claim­ing expensive items through in­sur­ance.

There is also the con­cern that your per­sonal pa­pers could be used to steal your iden­tity.

Po­lice are com­mit­ted to in­ves­ti­gat­ing and charg­ing any of­fend­ers we can iden­tify for theft from mo­tor ve­hi­cle crimes.

How­ever, the best ap­proach is to prevent the crime in the first in­stance.

Po­lice alone can­not re­duce these thefts, but the com­mu­nity can re­duce the op­por­tu­nity.

Un­locked sheds-garages

Stay­ing with the topic of theft, there has been an in­crease in re­ports of theft of tools, in­clud­ing chain­saws, from sheds and gar­den sheds, par­tic­u­larly in the North­ern Grampians area.

Po­lice re­mind the com­mu­nity to se­cure car­ports, sheds and gar­den sheds that house valu­able tools and power tools.

This is also a timely re­minder that tools should not be left un­se­cured in, or on, ve­hi­cles. • Lead­ing Se­nior Con­sta­ble Linda Mclen­nan is from the Com­mu­nity En­gage­ment Unit, Western Re­gion, Di­vi­sion 4.

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