POLICE have asked car hire companies to install multilingual warning cards, alerting tourists to the risk of theft at a Crawley visitor hotspot.
Smash and grab thieves across Perth are targeting tourist hot spots, taking cash, passports, cameras and credit cards.
“For the months of October, November and December we averaged around 14 thefts per month in Crawley, which was very concerning,” Senior Sergeant Julie Foley said.
The iconic blue boatshed on nearby Mounts Bay Road has become tourism spot for many visitors, who park on nearby streets close to where thieves often prowl through adjacent Kings Park.
The cards were sparked by repeated reports of tourists’ cars being smashed into on Kings Park Avenue near the boatshed, and complement City of Perth street warning signs and CCTV.
Sgt Foley said the tourists could be targeted when they left their cars to sightsee, unsuspecting of the danger to their property often left visible.
However, only three thefts from cars near the boatshed have been reported to police this year, which Sgt Foley said was “encouraging”.
The thefts are not just near the boatshed, and reports have spread along the adjoining Matilda Bay and Nedlands foreshores, where streets of parked tourists’, picnickers’ and University of WA students’ cars make prime picking for thieves.
As recently as January 5-7, cars parked near yacht clubs in the area were hit, and a spike in thefts from tourists’ and Perth residents’ cars lasting six weeks in King’s Park promoted extra patrols by Perth police, before the arrest of several people last year.
The cards, in two Asian and two European languages, will be immediately distributed by three car hire companies at Perth Airport.
“Residents are encouraged to contact police should they see any suspicious behaviour and motorists reminded to remove valuables from vehicles at all times,” Sgt Foley said.