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Police clamping down on car theft

11 Jun 2015

Police clamping down on car theft Image

St Kilda Rd Police Station commander Snr-Sgt Steve Bills says police have had enough of careless people leaving valuables in their vehicles when parking in Southbank.

Snr-Sgt Bills took Southbank Local News through a Southbank multi-level car park this month to demonstrate just how careless people were when leaving belongings in their vehicles.

The evidence was telling, with a majority of drivers leaving either one or more items such as handbags, backpacks, gold coins, laptop cases, suitcases, tools and GPS devices completely exposed.

One car was left so unsecured that Snr-Sgt Bills was even able to find an entry point to break in, while multiple others left open handbags completely visible on the front seat.

Even during the hour-long investigation, Snr-Sgt Bills received a report via police radio that a woman’s car had been broken into on another level of the very same car park.  

After reaching the woman, Snr-Sgt Bills and Southbank Local News learned that the woman’s soft-top roof on her convertible had been cut and ripped open. Fortunately for the victim, nothing had been stolen.

While the investigation was only a snapshot, Snr-Sgt Bills said it provided a telling insight into just how chronic the issue had become and that it could all be avoided if people didn’t give potential thieves an excuse to break in.

“The only way we are ever going to curb this trend is if people give more thought to what they leave exposed in their cars,” he said.

“In 95 per cent of the cases, if you don’t leave something in your vehicle that’s inviting the offender to think about breaking into your car, then invariably they won’t.”

“Stuff like $10 in coins sitting in the centre console or your smelly gym bag – it may only have smelly gym clothes in it to you, but to the crook that’s looking in through the window, there could be a phone or a wallet.”

Police are continuing to urge residents and members of the public to be more vigilant, following an ever growing rate of car thefts being reported in the Southbank area.

According to Snr-Sgt Bills, theft of, or theft from, motor vehicles are among the highest crimes in the Southbank area, with incidents reported everyday.

He said residents living in high-rise apartment complexes must take care when entering and exiting underground car parks, with thefts often occurring as a result of people simply sneaking in.

“A lot of these apartments are sold on this promise of secure parking and that is a misnomer straight up,” he said.

“All you need to see when you drive into the parking area is to see how slowly the gate behind you closes. There are so many people that live in these apartments, you’ve got no idea who’s meant to be there or not.”

Snr-Sgt Bills said such crimes were difficult for police and there was a lot the public could do to prevent them from occurring.

To report a theft or any suspicious behaviour contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000

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