Rise in car theft numbers in Young

This stolen car was found burnt out at Wirrimah earlier this year. Photo: Greg Burt.
This stolen car was found burnt out at Wirrimah earlier this year. Photo: Greg Burt.

Young police say motorists are helping opportunistic thieves by not securing their cars and leaving keys in plain sight.

Young Police Station Officer In Charge Paul Martyn said on almost all recent occasions, the vehicles have been left unlocked and the keys were left in the ignition or somewhere obvious.  

“The crimes are opportunistic, the young people committing these offences are not brazen enough to smash a window or smart enough to know how to hotwire a vehicle,” he said.

“Police wish to reinforce to residents the need to secure their vehicles; insurance companies will often not process a claim if the policyholder has not adequately secured their vehicle.  

“It's sad that things have come to this but the days of leaving things unlocked and unsecured are long gone.” 

District Commander Christopher Schilt said he was surprised with the number of stolen cars that have had the keys sitting in them.

“There needs to be a degree of personal accountability, which is especially important when there are more people out and about, such as in school holidays,” he said. “In addition to this, some may be surprised to learn that you could be committing an offence if you do not lock your doors when your vehicle is unattended.”

District Commander Schilt said motorists should keep all valuables out of sight.

“If you choose to leave your phone, laptop, tablet or GPS in your car then turn them off and lock them in the boot, otherwise they may still be discoverable via Bluetooth technology,” he said.

“Leave nothing in plain sight that may make your car interesting to a thief. Ensure iPod cables, GPS mounts and similar items are kept out of sight. Never leave tools unsecured.

“Also, do not leave bank statements, bills or other personal documentation in your car. They can be used by a thief to steal your identity.  Be prepared for opportunistic thieves and follow simple security measures.”