JUST a few weeks out from Christmas and Dubbo businesses have been warned the number of steal from retail stores cases is increasing.
In the past 12 months, there were 383 incidents reported to police, which is an increase of 29.4 per cent on the 296 cases during the previous year.
This week the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research (BOCSAR) released its report for the 12 months to September 2019, and it showed that in Dubbo incidents in eight of the 17 major offence categories had increased.
Theft in all BOCSAR reporting categories was up in Dubbo, including steal from motor vehicle which increased by 26.6 per cent, from 692 incidents to 876.
Steal from person was up (from 40 to 49 cases), so was motor vehicle theft (225 to 256) and steal from dwelling (up from 266 to 287).
However, despite the increased number of theft cases reported during the 12-month period, there were less break ins at homes and businesses in Dubbo.
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There might have been a 22.4 per cent reduction in the break and enter dwelling category (falling from 657 to 510), but that still means at least one house was broken into every single day.
Break and enter non-dwelling cases also declined, from 220 to 198, which is a drop of 10.0 per cent.
Orana Mid Western Police District Commander Superintendent Peter McKenna said theft from motor vehicles and retail stores was an opportunistic crime.
"When we have a real focus on things like break and enters and the higher level crimes, it does tend to squeeze out the more opportunistic crimes for offenders," he said.
Supt McKenna said police had made significant arrests of known offenders who regularly stole items from motor vehicles.
Steal from retail store cases was a statewide issue and he said self-service checkouts were often a place where people stole items.
"We try and work with the retailers and also we try and have as much of a high visibility presence as we can around those precincts," he said.
Supt McKenna said it was frustrating that there were almost 900 steal from motor vehicle cases this year and that people should have "individual accountability".
"People still leave valuables in plain sight and a lot of people don't lock their vehicles," he said.
Supt McKenna said break and enters had been a major focus for police because the region had long been over-represented in that crime category.
"We've managed to bring that crime type down by targeting the right offenders, by having those proactive disruptions and interventions," he said.
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