UNDERGROUND carparks in new apartment buildings are not free from criminal activity, despite the belief of some residents, according to police.
“The common misconception is that if you’re parked securely underground, your car is safe from crime, but this is not the case, with theft occurring in underground carparks across Perth,” Senior Constable Jason Savage said.
Since January, 241 reports of crime were mostly thefts, including reports of criminals searching unlocked cars and storage units.
One incident reported two weeks ago in West Perth included $3500 worth of tools taken from a tradesman’s utility, while another incident in East Perth resulted in $35,000 worth of damage.
In a first for WA, Const Savage is creating a database of apartment strata companies to be contacted about crime in their buildings and will soon distribute about 120 warning signs for apartment carparks.
Senior Sergeant Craig Davis said criminals practised “caravanning”, where they followed vehicles in as they enter the carparks, or climbed over fences into the carparks.
He said secure underground carparks were not “crime proof”, and residents should be vigilant including stopping their cars just inside automatic gates to stop others following before the gates close.
WA Apartment Advocacy spokeswoman Samantha Reece said the lobby group’s research showed people chose apartments for the buildings’ overall increased security but residents had to adapt their habits to the new phenomenon of high rise living.
n Contact perth,firstname.lastname@example.org to be on the strata database.