Unlocked car doors invitation to thieves


Stealing from cars is child’s play in Wyndham, with one in four parked cars left unlocked.

Wyndham Police Inspector Marty Allison said thieves have easy pickings and do not have to force entry to steal valuables from parked cars.

Inspector Allison said people leave handbags, wallets, iPads and other expensive items in full view of passersby, likening it to “window shopping”.

“We encourage people to lock their cars – even if they’re only out for a short time,” he said. “Generally speaking, one in every four is left open.

“The criminals don’t have to try too hard. There are ample numbers of people who are opportunistic and will try door handles until they find one.

“We’ve had surveillance teams on known volume crime offenders and watched them try 200 cars and get into 50 of them without forcing entry, stealing everything from coins to quite valuable items – whatever was available. It’s like window shopping,” he said.

There were more than 2300 thefts from cars recorded across Wyndham in the 12 months to September 30 last year, Crime Statistics Agency figures reveal.

That’s up from 1915 thefts in the year prior, and 1595 thefts in the 12 months to September 2014.

Despite this, Inspector Allison said thefts from cars have been trending down of late. He cautioned drivers to lock their cars, and either take valuables with them, or hide valuables from view.

Number plate thefts are still accounting for a high number of thefts from cars, with crime prevention officer Craig McDonald saying that, on average, one set of number plates is stolen in Wyndham every day – with train station car parks one of the most popular places to target.

“It’s an issue, because commuters leave their cars there all day,” Leading Senior Constable McDonald said.

“This makes it easier for crooks.”