Car thefts linked to home break-ins

Keep valuables such as car keys, wallets and phones out of sight. Picture: Marcus Whisson www.communitypix.com.au d420257
Keep valuables such as car keys, wallets and phones out of sight. Picture: Marcus Whisson www.communitypix.com.au d420257

Recent statistics within the west metropolitan district and Bayswater sub-district showed 45 per cent of stolen vehicles were taken during burglaries.

Snr Sgt Whitnall said of these offences, 83 per cent were occurring at residential premises and 44 per cent were between 7pm and 7am.

‘Recidivist and prolific offenders are also known to target homes, where high-performance, modern vehicles are found,’ he said.

‘This has become apparent during recent times when several high-end, high-performance vehicles have been stolen during burglaries and then used in crime sprees across the metropolitan area.’

According to Snr Sgt Whitnell, complacency was often a contributing factor in these types of crimes where people have left car keys in easily accessible places.

‘I have often been guilty myself of coming home after work or going to bed at night with my car keys stacked up on my kitchen counter, along with other sets of keys belonging to my wife and children,’ he said.

‘These keys are all quite visible should someone be trespassing in my back yard and looking through my window.

‘This is a recipe for disaster and sooner or later my complacency will be exchanged for anger and a deep feeling of violation.

‘The simple answer here is to become more vigilant and do small things to prevent crime or at least make the situation less attractive.

‘The simple act of changing your own behaviour, taking your keys and storing them out of sight in a semi-secure area could well be the difference between hardship or relief.’

Police also noted a large number of reported burglaries stemmed from occupants of houses leaving exterior doors unlocked or open.

Snr Sgt Whitnall said on the night of Monday, May 19, two houses in Bayswater were broken into, one where the owner had left the front door unlocked and the other where keys had been left on a kitchen bench which led to a car theft.

‘While we are always there to listen to your concerns and take appropriate crime reports when your home is broken into or your vehicle stolen, there is also a need for you to take some ownership and responsibility in preventing crime in the first place,’ he said.

‘Please be vigilant and should you see someone acting suspiciously, please report it immediately by phoning 131444.’