People are being urged to play it smart and lock their houses, sheds and cars following an increase in burglary and theft offences in the Macedon Ranges.
Sergeant Geoff Neil said opportunistic thieves continued to strike because too many residents were not following “the standard look, lock and leave” routine.
“We do live in a good and safe area, but it would be substantially safer if people would lock up their cars, in particular,” he said.
“These thieves are very opportunistic and we need to go out of our way to make sure that opportunity is not there.
“Unfortunately, many people do not.”
Latest data released by the Crime Statistics Agency show there was an eight per cent increase in Macedon Ranges thefts in the year to March 31, from 558 to 607 offences.
Burglaries in the Macedon Ranges went up 11 per cent, from 219 to 245.
Sergeant Neil said police expected to charge a man with burglary and drug offences after the highway patrol pulled over a stolen car on the Calder Freeway near Woodend last Monday afternoon.
He said a search revealed a ‘‘credible’’ amount of drugs inside the 2012 Nissan Navara twin cab, which was stolen from Melton earlier this month. Numerous items believed to have been taken during recent house burglaries in the area were also seized.