Wake-up call for vehicle owners

PROACTIVE: Acting Superintendent Ryan Irwin. Picture: BRENDAN McCARTHY
PROACTIVE: Acting Superintendent Ryan Irwin. Picture: BRENDAN McCARTHY

A RADICAL new operation will see Bendigo Police knocking on doors in the early hours of the morning.

Police are fed-up with people leaving their vehicles unlocked and theft from motor cars is sky-rocketing.

But the vehicle security message still doesn't seem to be getting through so police are ramping up their efforts.

Acting Superintendent Ryan Irwin said police would be patrolling the streets late at night, looking for unlocked cars, in the coming weeks.

"Where we find cars that are unlocked, we're going to go and knock on the door, if it's easily identified that a car belongs to a house, and we're going to tell the people that their car has been left unlocked," he said.

"So the message we want to get out is be prepared for a knock on your door at 1am or 2am because it might be the cops telling you that you've left your car unlocked.

"It's a little bit radical and it might upset a few people but we have to get this message out somehow.

"We've tried and tried and tried and it just doesn't seem to be getting through so this is the next step.

"It's an issue for us, it's been flagged at state level and we've been told you just have to do something about this."

Acting Superintendent Irwin said the proactive policing initiative would also act as a deterrence for thieves.

"It's a two-fold approach," he said.

"The thing we've identified is that most cars that have property stolen from them are unlocked.

"That's the big message that we're trying to get out.

"We've actually tried pushing this through the media before but the big message for the public is that they need to help us to take more responsibility for their own property.

"Cars are unlocked, utes are left with valuables in the rear and quite often it's in driveways and on nature strips.

"So it's not shopping centre car parks and railways station car parks like people probably think.

"It's happening at home.

"The car is in the driveway, sometimes in the garage, and they're leaving it unlocked.

"People leave keys in cars, they leave everything."

Acting Superintendent Irwin said valuables left in locked vehicles should also be left out of sight.

"What normally gets stolen is the easy stuff," he said.

"So phones, wallets, quite often number plates which we know are then used for other offences, and stuff out of utes like tradies' tools and equipment."


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