Warning for motorists to lock your car

BOCSAR statistics show theft from motor vehicles is an issue across the Mid Coast area. Photo staged and digitally altered.
BOCSAR statistics show theft from motor vehicles is an issue across the Mid Coast area. Photo staged and digitally altered.

With the school holiday period now underway Manning Great Lakes Police District has urged residents to take all measures necessary to avoid being a victim of car theft.

Crime prevention officer Senior Constable Ray Slade said by taking simple preventative measures, the chances of becoming a victim of theft are greatly diminished.

"When you park and leave your car, it is a good idea to do a quick checklist," Senior Constable Slade said.

"Ensure the surrounding area is well-lit at night, personal valuables are stored out of sight or taken from the vehicle and doors and windows are locked- it's as simple as that."

According to the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research, theft from motor vehicle incidents have risen in the Mid Coast local government area.

From April 2018 to March 2019, 503 incidents were reported to police. That's 112 more cases than the previous year.

Keep valuable items out of sight says Senior Constable Ray Slade.

Keep valuable items out of sight says Senior Constable Ray Slade.

Car owners are advised not to leave valuable items in their vehicles, especially those parked in driveways, beachside car parks, open carports and roadside overnight.

"Thieves usually steal items like mobile phones, cash, computer tablets, wallets and handbags," Senior Constable Slade said.

"People should take these items with them when possible, or at least store them out of sight in the vehicle.

"Thieves usually gain entry by smashing a window, so it's a good idea to park in well-lit, busy streets where possible.

"It may sound obvious, but always remember to lock your car and ensure all the windows are fully closed."

Additional measures to improve motor vehicle security include engine immobilisers or fuel cut out switches, locking devices on the steering wheel or transmission shifts and car alarm systems.

Any information in relation to theft from vehicles can be given to Taree police on 65520399, Forster police on 65551299 or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.