BENDIGO police are urging the public to be aware and follow basic crime prevention tips, following an string of thefts from cars in the region.
Bendigo Acting Inspector Brian Hansen said there had been 35 incidents of thefts from motor vehicles over the past month alone.
"The key areas or the most popular areas where these offenses are occurring are in Epsom, Junortoun and North Bendigo," he said.
"There's no rhyme or reason as to why that's occurring, according to our data.
"This is a perinneal problem that occurs, but we do know that on each of these instances, cars have been unlocked."
The Acting Inspector said he couldn't remember the last time someone had broken a windscreen or forced a lock to get into a car, and these types of thefts they're seeing are purely "opportunistic."
Acting Inspector Hansen said there have been multiple instances where witnesses have seen people going car to car testing to see which ones are unlocked.
"Eventually they'll get one that's unlocked unfortunately," he said.
"And they go right through the car. There's wallets, handbags, and power tools, those are the main things that are going."
When wallets go missing, there's the hassle in replacing driver's licenses and other IDs, Medicare cards and more, he said.
Victoria Police recommend keeping car doors and windows locked, even if you are leaving your car for just a moment.
People should not leave their car keys or spare keys in their ignition or in a visible place in their homes, nor should they put their name and address on any keys - use a mobile phone number instead - the Acting Inspector suggested.
He also recommended not leaving valuables in your car, especially ones in plain sight.
"Wallets and purses quite often get left in vehicles because it's convenient at the time," Acting Inspector Hansen said.
"We might be carrying other things into the house and think, oh, we're gonna go back and get it. But then we forget about it."
The Acting Inspector said tools are another item commonly taken from the back of uncovered or exposed utes, and/or from unlocked tradie-trailers, which are expensive to lose and replace.
If you can, park your car in the garage or your driveway that is well lit, he recommended.
Even if a car is in a carport, that's often enough to deter someone from walking up into another person's property where they can be seen.
"All it takes these days is to push a button and your car is locked," Mr Hansen said.
"Don't leave anything visible inside it. If your car is locked, that is the absolute deterrent for all criminals."
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