On alert: Collie police have warned community members to look out for one another after a series of car break-ins across the townsite. COLLIEresidents have been urged by police to protect one another and report suspicious activity aftera series of car break-ins across the townsite.
Collie acting Officer in Charge Terry Townsend said a highnumber of break-ins have been reported throughout town this year.
“It has happened fairly regularly, but most of them have been opportunistic where people have seen items of value inside the car, some have been cars that have been left open so they are just trying the door if it’s open and have had a look through the car to see what is there to steal,” he said.
“Some cars have been locked and have ended up with their windows smashed, as a result, but obviously if people don’t leave valuable items in their car that’s one way to not have them stolen.”
Mr Townsend said motor vehicle thefts were based around the random actions and opportunistic tendencies of those responsible.
“It doesn’t seem to be confined to one area,it’s that the offenders are fairly mobile so they are sort of walking around at night-time predominantly,” he said.
“It’s just opportunistic;they do come across a car that is open or see something in a window, that’s whenit’s happening.”
Mr Townsend said Collie police have set-up systems for monitoring areas and investigating potential leadsaround the town.
“About two weeks ago, they did talk to a male that had some screw drivers, a torch and some items of interest that we took off him, but as far as charging anyone, we haven’t actually yet,” he said.
“He is obviously not the only offender, but apart from that I wouldn’t even go as far to say whether it’s adults or kids but, with that time of night or early morning,more than likely it’s adults.
“All I’ve got my guys doing is concentrating on making patrols of the areas where it’s happening and, because Collie is not such a big area, it’s not really confined to the one part of Collie.”
Mr Townsend said information from the public has aided police in apprehendingbreak-in suspects across the South West.
“If it’s reported to us, we can act on it for sure, and, because we’ve got cars out and about, if someone does report it to 131 444 it gets logged on in Perthor it comes straight through to our vans that are out and about,” he said.
“They can put a job on and thenif police are predominantlyin the area, if they don’t catch the offender then the patrol, because police cars obviously stand out, act asa deterrence because they are around the area.
“But obviously we rely on people to let us know if there are suspicious people or cars floating around the area.”
Mr Townsend said community members can prevent break-ins by locking their vehicles, taking personal belongings inside or keeping them from view and parking in car ports or behind fences.
One break-in victim, who did not wish to be identified, said their car was broken into in the ValleyView Residence car park in the early hours of Sunday, May 22.
“They smashed a rear window and then went through the entire car, searched through the glove box and stole a number of personal items,” they said.
“I do know that several other people have had vehicles broken into or attempted break-ins, several have been overnight but some have been during the day that I’ve heard of.”
The victim said the police and public could work together to create a more secure community environment.
“The police definitely know that this is happening, it’s been reported to the police, whether they need to do more regular patrols around that area. I’m not sure that the council can do a whole lot, but the police definitely need to be seen more in that area to discourage the vehicle break-ins.”
“I’m not sure the public can really do a whole lot, but obviously keep an eye out of something seems too good to be true, the public can keep and eye out and make sure nothing is left in their vehicles.”
According to the National Motor Vehicle Theft Reduction Council, 8,794 motor vehicle thefts were recorded in Western Australia.
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