Spring heralds vehicle thefts
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.
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.