‘The offenders in this instance are breaking into cars to locate credit cards,’ Clarkson Detectives Senior Sergeant Gary Saunders said.
‘Once they have got the credit cards, they are committing numerous frauds.
‘It is quite well organised.’
Sgt Saunders said it was a timely reminder for people not to leave valuables in their vehicles, particularly wallets and purses.
He said the Pay Wave and Pay Pass functions on credit cards enabled offenders to use cards without entering pin numbers.
‘They can purchase anything up to $100 with that in each transaction,’ Sgt Saunders said.
‘They appear to be targeting 24-hour service stations for large quantities of cigarettes.
‘They use the card until it has exceeded its limit or reported stolen.
‘It is very easy for them to rack up $1000 at service stations (overnight) and then rack up another $2000 to $3000 in shops once they open.’
The detective said people should report suspicious activity to police as it occurred, on 131 444, or call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 with information about offenders.