FOLLOWING a recent spate of burglaries, Sale police are advising Wellington Shire residents of ways they can secure their homes against burglary.
Highlighting the size of the problem a Sale building company lost power tools and equipment when its yard and workshop were targeted by thieves on the weekend.
The power tools and equipment had been sprayed with yellow paint to aid identification.
In order to ‘target harden’ their homes, police suggest residents increase the visibility about their house, maintaining clear sight lines free from overgrown vegetation.
This, Leading Senior Constable Sarah Reggardo said, removed hiding spots for offenders.
“Maintaining visibility at night can also be a deterrent,” she said, suggesting the use of motion activated security lights.
“Once in the home offenders usually look for items such as cash and jewellery that is easy to carry and move on.”
She said residents should consider getting a safe, which is then secured to the floor or wall, for valuable items, placing it in an out of sight location to make it harder for burglars to see or access.
“It is also important not to overlook the security of your garden shed or garage, tools and chainsaws are also a favourite (for thieves),” Leading Senior Constable Reggardo said.
To help prevent crime in their area, she suggested, people make a note of any suspicious activity, providing a detailed description of the person or vehicle to police.
Another reoccurring problem in the Wellington Shire is the theft from motor vehicles, with small personal items left on display, such as cash, phones and iPods were prime targets for thieves.
“A recent estimation of theft from motor vehicles in Wellington Shire showed upwards of 70 per cent of thefts was from vehicles left unlocked by the victim,” Leading Senior Constable Reggardo said.
This caused her to wonder whether people left their cars unlocked as to prevent possible damage thieves would make by breaking in.
“Statistics show a very small percentage of thefts from vehicles where entry was caused by force or smashing a window,” she said.
Other from car thefts, she said, involved unsecured or externally stored items being taken from the rear of utilities or from roof racks, such as fishing rods or toolboxes.
“If you remove what you can, lock your vehicle and keep it close by your residence in a driveway, carport, garage or behind a gate you are less likely to become a victim of this crime,” Leading Senior Constable Reggardo said.
For more information on improving residential safety and security, or how to compile a personal security assessment log onto www.police.vic.gov.au and go to the community safety pages and follow the links to home and property.
Security assessments can be collected from the Sale Police Station, 60 York St, Sale.