Police plea to 'lock out' thieves

THE call is on for motor vehicle owners to ‘lock out’ thieves as news of unlawful entry offences is on the rise.
Gladstone District Police have confirmed unlawful entry to motor vehicle offences are increasing across the local region.
In Gladstone alone about 90% of all reported unlawful entry to motor vehicle offences is from vehicles that have been left unlocked.
Police reports indicate most offenders walk along the streets trying door handles and gain entry to those vehicles that are left unlocked by careless owners.
Gladstone District Crime Prevention co-ordinator Acting Senior Constable John Marks said it is imperative that people remove their valuables and then lock their vehicles prior to leaving them unattended.
Acting Snr Const Marks said it is a common sense approach but people are obviously not doing this and are making their vehicle’s easy targets for opportunistic thieves.
Likewise, police are appealing for people to refrain from storing valuables in their motor vehicles, or at the very least, make an attempt to hide them when the vehicle is left unattended.
Electronic items such as GPS units and portable music devices are not only a common car accessory these days but are also proving to be a magnet for opportunistic thieves when left inside a vehicle.
These items, along with mobile phones and other valuables such as CD’s, sunglasses, handbags and even spare change are often targeted by thieves.
“Drivers should remove both the GPS unit and the ‘cradle’ from their vehicle,” a Queensland Police Service spokeswoman said.
“Even the suction cap marks (left on the windscreen by the GPS ‘cradle’) can signal to thieves that a GPS may be hidden in the car.
“Vehicle break-ins occur in residential streets, or when people leave their vehicle in the driveway.
“It’s important to make sure your vehicle is locked at all times and valuables have been removed.”
Motor vehicle owners are also advised to check their vehicles to make sure their registration plates are still fitted as these too can be targets for thieves.
Tips to reduce the risk of vehicles being stolen or broken into include using a steering wheel club or lock, lockable fuel cap and wheel nuts and using one-way screws on registration plates.
Using microdot technology throughout the vehicle, etching the registration or vehicle identification number on the vehicle’s windows, windscreens and headlights and parking in open and well-lit areas are other handy safety tips.
For further information visit www.police.qld.gov.au.

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