SECURE OR NOT: Dubbo's unlocked vehicles inviting theft

LOCK your cars when you leave them.

It is a simple piece of advice, but police say that message is still not getting through to many motorists.

The comments come in the wake of figures released this week showing the rate of theft from motor vehicles in Dubbo had more than doubled in the two-year period to September 2012.

While locking unattended vehicles was second nature to many, others who did not lock their cars were quite possibly making themselves easier targets.

"The vast majority of thefts from motor vehicles are from unlocked cars," Orana Local Area Command (LAC) Detective Inspector Rod Blackman said.

"This is despite our ongoing campaigns for people to lock their vehicles."

Statistics from the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research (BOCSAR) show there were 677 thefts from motor vehicles in the Dubbo Local Government Area (LGA) in the year to September 2012.

The figure represented a 101.5 per cent increase on the previous reporting period two years earlier.

Thefts from motor vehicles occurred at a rate two and a half times the state average, with the same offence also being reported in other western centres at rates several times the state average.

In the Wellington LGA there were 63 steal from motor vehicle offences reported for the year to September 2012. There was no significant change in the rate recorded from the previous year.

Detective Inspector Blackman said there were other things motorists could do to reduce their chances of becoming victims of would-be thieves when their cars were left unattended.

"Keep belongings out of plain view," he said.

"Would you believe we've had examples where people have left wallets near the steering wheel, with cash sticking out of them?"

Detective Inspector Blackman also advised motorists to use glass wipes to wipe the suction marks from GPS units off windscreens so would-be thieves did not think the devices were inside the vehicles.

Included in the relatively recent spike in thefts from motor vehicles, Detective Inspector Blackman said, were numerous incidents where thefts had taken place from unlocked cars in the victims' driveways.

"Don't think these offenders won't walk up your driveway, even if the car is parked right next to your house."

angela.clutterbuck@ruralpress.com

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