Operation Suris targets car thefts in Perth’s western suburbs

Photo: Jon Bassett
Photo: Jon Bassett

POLICE claim an operation has slashed thefts from cars in Fremantle and they will now turn their attention to similar crimes in Mosman Park, Cottesloe and Peppermint Grove.

“In October 2017, Fremantle was in the top four for stealing form motor vehicles, and it’s now in eighth or ninth position,” Senior Sergeant Brad Warburton said.

Sgt Warburton said Operation Suris, which started in the City of Cockburn before moving to the port city, followed reports of car thefts from residents to pinpoint a repeat location, identify a repeat offender, obtain CCTV or dashcam footage, and get forensic evidence or information from a neighbour.

“The hours of darkness and residents parking on streets are what we have found to be the prime conditions for these criminals,” he said.

His Fremantle-based officers took over responsibility for the three western suburbs in the first of major restructuring of the force at the start of last month.

However, after meetings with mayors he is aware of how the train line is often used by criminals to get to and leave the area.

Overnight before Australia Day in January, cars near Wellington Street, Mosman Park, were broken into in a spate of thefts, while Cottesloe and Peppermint Grove streets have repeatedly been the sites of multiple overnight thefts from cars.

“What comes back to us is if they see something in the car they can steal, they will, and if there is a car near in which they can’t see anything they will go back to the other car,” Sgt Warburton said.

He said residents would now get Operation Suris warning letters if there had been a spate in their street.

“The focus is it takes less than 60 seconds to break in and steal from your car,” Sgt Warburton said.

The operation will use publicity and public education to increase the number of residents who report the crimes and take preventative measures as regular parts of their lives.

Councils will also produce windscreen stickers reminding drivers to remove valuables before exiting cars, and community prevention programs may install signs at spots where thefts from cars is prevalent.