Police warn to be theft vigilant after car break ins

Nicolette Barbas and Kate FieldingSouth Western Times
Bunbury and Eaton areas are targeted as car windows are smashed and valuable belongings stolen.
Camera IconBunbury and Eaton areas are targeted as car windows are smashed and valuable belongings stolen. Credit: Graphic / South Western Times

Car windows are being smashed and valuable belongings stolen across Bunbury and Eaton, prompting calls from police for property owners to do more.

Theft from cars is one of the most commonly reported crimes in the Eaton area, according to Australind officer-in-charge Sen. Sgt Mark Smith.

While Bunbury officer-in-charge Sen. Sgt Mal Jones said thieves breaking into cars was a continuing trend that “a lot of the time” was preventable.

“We’re not blaming the victims, but don’t leave stuff in your car that people can see,” Sen. Sgt Jones said.

“Unfortunately we have to take basic precautions to prevent becoming a victim of these sorts of crimes.”

He said police had seen closed-circuit TV footage of people wandering the streets and looking into vehicles in a spate of “opportunistic” crimes.

“If they can look in with a torch, see through the window there’s something – a small amount of cash or a bag that they can’t see what’s in the bag – they’ll break a window to have a look,” he said.

Sen. Sgt Smith echoed calls for car owners to do more, saying people could avoid being targeted.

“Reducing crime is a joint responsibility and everyone has a role to play,” Sen. Sgt Smith said.

“The reason we are seeing theft from vehicles occurring is because of the amount of property and high value items left in vehicles.

“Make your car seems less attractive to thieves – that one simple act alone can prevent people from being a victim of crime.”

Both officers have encouraged community members to continue to report any suspicious behaviour to their local police stations, with Sen. Sgt Jones saying police were proactively patrolling known hot spots.

“We base our response on reported offences, we obviously investigate them as best we can but also do targeted and proactive patrols in areas that are identified as hot spots for that offence type – particularly during the night which is when predominantly they occur,” he said.

“If you see or hear something, ring us because we may just have a car in the area and be able to respond and it could be a person responsible for a number of those types of offences.

“Normally, if they’re doing those offences they’ll commit a number, not just one.”

Sen. Sgt Mark Smith says the community is becoming more involved in preventing crime by reporting incidents.

“We’re getting a great response from the community in relation to these offences and we encourage people to keep it up,” he said.

“We are working closely with other government agencies in relation to crime in Eaton area.

“If people hear car alarms or dogs barking at a time it’s not right, particularly in the early hours of the morning, give police a call because we may only be around the corner looking for them.”

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