• Tony Bosworth

Lock it or lose it - Redbank targeted by passing thieves

This past weekend, some residents at North Richmond’s Redbank estate woke to find their cars had been rifled through and items stolen, including wallets and expensive laptops and iPads.

Many residents took to social media to vent about it - some even saying they shouldn’t have to lock their cars when they are parked in their own driveways.

Chief Inspector Garry Sims APM from Hawkesbury Police Area Command, who investigate all crimes reported to them, says theft from vehicles is so often avoidable.

“With most modern cars it’s just pressing a button and the car is locked. Do that and you’re taking away the opportunity.

“Most of this sort of crime is totally opportunistic. They will walk around and check cars and when they find one unlocked they will go through and take any valuables. From a policing perspective it’s hard to clamp down on because it is so opportunistic. The simple answer is to lock the vehicle.”

The Chief Inspector also points out items stolen from vehicles which have any form of identity on them – credit cards, laptops, phones – can find their way into the hands of criminals who may use your identity.

“The repercussions of fraud can be very serious. You’ve not simply lost an iPad or a phone, you may have someone else take and use your identity. Down the track that could mean your credit rating is affected, you could have trouble with finances, and you could even find debt collectors at your door because someone has stolen your identity and racked up debts.”

Ch Insp Sims says he has some sympathy with people who believe others simply shouldn’t steal but he said the reality is, criminals do exist.

“The majority of people are honest people and in a perfect environment thefts would not happen. But unfortunately that’s not the case and everybody has a personal responsibility to make sure everything they own is secure. As with any crime, we investigate and do our job, but it’s one of those crimes that all too often can simply be avoided, simply by taking valuables out of your vehicle and locking it.

“There is no real pattern to these types of crimes. They are opportunistic and very sporadic. The message is, just don’t give them the opportunity.”

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