MORNINGTON Peninsula Police are ramping up their “lock and leave” message following the many car break-ins at holiday hot spots over the Christmas and New Year period.
Acting Sergeant Matthew Young of Mornington police said Acting Sergeant Matthew Young at Mornington police station said that there had been 115 thefts from motor vehicles on the peninsula in December. All vehicles were had been unlocked.
Most of the increased offending was occurring in the Rosebud area due to a sharp rise in visitor numbers over summer and increased occupancy of holiday homes and short-stay rental properties.
“This increases the number of vehicles parked in residential areas overnight, which are becoming a target,” he said.
“Offenders are primarily targeting unlocked vehicles parked in residential driveways and front yards, taking items which in some cases leads to further offending.”
Police were urging the public to lock vehicles and secure them in a garage if possible.
Young said police recently sent foot patrols out to drop flyers in unlocked vehicles in a number of car parks and were surprised at how many unlocked cars there were.
Leaving items like tablets, mobile phones or trade tools in sight from outside the car increased the temptation to steal.
Police advise vehicle owners to deter criminals by removing all valuables from sight, locking doors and closing windows, parking in well-lit and secure places, installing a car alarm, and not leaving house or garage keys in vehicles.