ACT Policing is urging Canberrans to secure their vehicles and homes following ongoing incidents of easy vehicle thefts.
Officer in Charge of Woden Station, Detective Inspector, Shane Scott reminded residents to make sure their cars and homes were locked and not to leave keys near the front door or in other obvious places.
“In October, we saw at least 27 vehicles where the owner’s key was used to steal the vehicle,” Detective Inspector Scott said.
“We know people are continuing to leave keys in unlocked vehicles,” he said.
“And we know people are leaving homes unlocked – allowing criminals to easily enter, steal the key and then steal the vehicle.”
Detective Inspector Scott said that, in 2021, it should be very difficult to take a modern vehicle as very few cars could still be ‘hot-wired’.
He said, however, the majority of the 1,450 vehicles reported stolen in the ACT in the past year were stolen with the vehicle’s key.
“We also know opportunistic thieves are checking for unlocked vehicles in garages, parking lots and in driveways,” he said.
“In many cases they are finding wallets, handbags, cash and phones in these unlocked vehicles.”
Detective Inspector Scott asked Canberrans to make it harder for would-be thieves.
“Lock your home,” he said.
“Lock your car – every time.
“And do not leave valuables in your vehicle.”
He also took to opportunity to warn the community about the issue of number plate theft, saying that criminals regularly stole number plates and placed them on stolen vehicles to avoid police detection.
Detective Inspector Scott said Canberrans could secure their plates with tamper-proof screws, available for free at all police stations.