City Beach open-door policy criticised

Front doors left open provide easy pickings for thieves.
Front doors left open provide easy pickings for thieves.

‘It’s just really scary that burglars can think they can come through the house brazenly,’ City Beach burglary victim Craig Robins (51) said.

An open door at Mr Robins’ Windara Drive home allowed burglars to take an iPad, wallet and credit cards overnight on May 24, during an 11-incident spate in the suburb.

‘It was pretty scary and my 21-year-old daughter was thinking what if they’d come upstairs in her bedroom, so we had to calm her down,’ he said.

Mr Robins said he had been a ‘stickler’ for locking all windows and doors but had been distracted on the night of the robbery.

He said he would now secure all accesses to his home and talk to neighbours about keeping windows and doors locked.

Wembley officer-in-charge Senior Sergeant Jade Smith said in the past three months, open doors and windows allowed 64 of the 109 burglaries in his policing area.

‘In City Beach, 90 per cent of the burglaries of the spate were through open doors and windows,’ Snr Sgt Smith said.

His officers have charged 21 people with burglary in that time, 18 of whom were from outside the area.

He said there was complacency in the community about home safety and while police worked to ensure a safe community, residents had to take some responsibility for home and personal safety.

‘When I examine the offending patterns it is clear that some suburbs ” City Beach in particular ” are being targeted by offenders who look for open houses,’ Snr Sgt Smith said. Their success spurs on their activities, he said.

In the eight days leading up to last Thursday, 31 burglaries, thefts from cars or stealing offences were reported to Cottesloe police, of which 13 involved an unlocked vehicle or house.