Blitz on car break-ins

Blitz on car break-ins
Rhonda Dredge

Law and order are back on the agenda with a blitz on car break-ins announced by police at the North Melbourne station.

“We’re getting dozens of thefts a week. I can tell you where they are,” station commander Senior Sergeant Carl Whibley said.

The station is sending out a warning to residents of Kensington and Parkville plus to visitors to the Melbourne Zoo.

“Don’t leave anything in your car,” Senior Sergeant Carl Whibley said. “Not a laptop on the backseat nor a handbag on the front.”

“Thieves will break in for some loose change. In my car you can’t see anything. There’s nothing in there.”

There was one case in which a woman said she left her car for just 10 minutes and thought she was safe because it was locked.

“It only takes eight seconds to smash a window and run,” police said.

“The public can help with this crime. It is absolutely preventable. If thieves can’t see anything they won’t break in.”

Each suburb of Melbourne has a pattern of crimes related to its urban geography.

To the south of the river in Southbank, where there are large car parks, there has been a spate of number plate thefts.

You get these every time there’s a rise in petrol prices, police explain, with thieves using them to trick CCTV cameras at petrol station.

In Kensington most cars are parked on the streets and at the zoo, patrons leave their cars for long periods of time.

With curfew and the lockdown, crime rates dropped and they haven’t risen as quickly as the police have expected.

“Crime did trend down during lockdown and now it’s started to trend up,” Senior Sergeant Whibley said.

Local cops were deployed during lockdown to deal with demonstrations and day patrols.

Now they are back in action targeting hot spots with night patrols. DNA and fingerprinting can be used to catch culprits.

Any car parked in the street could be at risk. Most break-ins occur at night, but one resident of Kensington was witness to an attempted break-in in the car park at Newmarket Shopping Centre in broad daylight.

“I saw a kid breaking into a car at four in the afternoon,” he told North West City News.

A car pulled up and a kid got out, he said. “He was about 15. He was loitering. The next minute he tried to get into a car. The owner appeared and stopped him.”

He said the driver of the car was wearing a balaclava. “It was a Holden station wagon. He pulled up and the passenger got out. The kid used some implement to break into the car.” •

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