Apartments soft targets for thieves

Police are so concerned about the emerging crime trend they will take up the issue with the City of Perth.

Exacerbated residents who live in the apartment towers say they are out of ideas to protect their cars and other items stored in common areas which are being taken.

Any items stored in the buildings� garages, considered by insurance companies as common property, are generally not covered by standard contents insurance policies.

In a recent incident, three cars were broken in to at apartments on Terrace Road about dawn on August 6

A security camera recorded the thief, who smashed cars windows and took a laptop from one, before he left through a fire escape that was left unlocked from the inside so residents could escape in an emergency.

Apartment residents say thieves wait for someone to drive out of a complex�s secure basement and then walk inside before the automatic gates close, before using the fire escape to leave.

Resident Simon Spitali keeps his new bicycle inside his apartment on the 18th floor because he had two bicycles stolen from his complex in a year.

It is believed at least another six bicycles have since been stolen from the complex, with prepared thieves using portable angle grinders to break the bike locks.

Other residents said they were surprised to realise their expensive apartment gates and car parks were not secure, and they now felt �deliberately targeted� by criminals.

Senior Sergeant Brendan Moore said stealing from underground private car parks was on the rise because at least one new apartment block was built in the CBD every six months.

�It�s certainly growing in momentum, and WA Police are very concerned about designing out security issues, and we�ll be speaking to the City of Perth about it,� Sgt Moore said.

The relatively recent appearance of apartments on the Perth skyline also required culture and attitude shifts by residents, who Sgt Moore said must check car park gates were shut, and no one else had gone in, when they left or entered their building.