CRIME RISE: Gladstone making it too easy for thieves
DOUBLE checking your car is locked or making a quick dash up the drive way to check the front door can be an inconvenience.
But its nothing compared to the inconvenience of cancelling bank cards and reapplying for a licence if your wallet or handbag is stolen.
Gladstone police say while we live in an "incredibly safe” town, residents are making it too easy for thieves.
Gladstone police station officer in charge Senior Sergeant Jamie Goodwin said the town's crime was "significantly opportunistic”.
It comes after a rise in reported theft crimes across the region, the most recent on Wednesday at Telina.
Snr Sergeant Goodwin said the victim parked her car in the driveway of a friend's house and went inside to feed the dogs.
The woman left her car unlocked. She told police upon returning to her car, she realised someone had stolen property from the front passenger seat.
On January 8 a woman went inside a service station to pay for fuel she had just filled her car with and in the time it took to pay, her mobile and handbag were stolen from the front passenger seat.
Snr Sergeant Goodwin said company vehicles were also a target, often being left unlocked over weekends and an easy target for offenders.
"The offending behaviour we see the most of is someone will walk past an unlocked car or open front door, lean in and take what they can,” he said.
"If there a purse or bag in obvious sight, then they will take it.
"People think its mainly unlocked cars but it can be open doors, or closed but left unlocked.
"Offenders are seeing opportunities to commit offences that wouldn't be available to them if people locked up.”
Snr Sergeant Goodwin said opportunistic offending was most common in car parks at major shopping centres, but some offenders were brazen enough to enter homes while families were in the backyard.
"We see very little behaviour where people are going out of their way to deliberately steal items,” he said.
"Residents do need to be more mindful.
"I often say to people if you are driving to Brisbane and you park at Southbank, you would lock you car, wouldn't you? They say yes and I say, well it's no different to Gladstone.”
Snr Sergeant Goodwin said because Gladstone is a family-friendly place, residents are often complacent with keeping their belongings safe.
"It's a simple process to lock a car or door, it's not simple when your bank cards and identification is stolen and you have to re apply for it all,” he said.