Young accounts for three quarters of car thefts and break-ins in Hilltops region

Trend: One of the cars that was part of wave of vehicle thefts that occurred during the early months of 2018. Photo: Greg Burt
Trend: One of the cars that was part of wave of vehicle thefts that occurred during the early months of 2018. Photo: Greg Burt

Young has experienced its worst period of car thefts and break-ins during 2018, with statistics showing the highest numbers of incidents in 10 years.

During February 14 cars were stolen and 21 were broken into.

It is the worst single month result for both categories in a decade, data from the Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research has revealed.

A further eight vehicles were stolen in March, and 10 more were broken into.

Across Hilltops, 38 cars have been stolen in the 12 months to March 2018, an increase of 13 from the previous year. 

Concerningly 73 per cent, or 28, of those thefts occurred in Young.

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Despite the February-March spike, break-ins to vehicles actually dropped slightly, with 69 throughout Hilltops in the year to February 2017, and 66 in the last 12 months.

Again Young accounted for the majority of those crimes, with 52 of the 66 break-ins for the region.

Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke said local police had taken action to catch those responsible for the crime spree and should see a drop in incidents.

“Superintendent Michael Rowan, Acting Commander of Hume District, informs me that two young people were involved in a spate of motor vehicle incidents, and that is what caused a spike in the figures,” Ms Cooke said.

“However, he expects the figure to return to the normal low figure.”

In April, Young Police Station’s officer in charge Paul Martyn said a number of the thefts that had occured were because vehicles were left unlocked, and some even had keys left in the car.

“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.”