Thefts from vehicles skyrocket

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It won’t come as a surprise to regular readers of Page 2 in this paper that the offence of ‘steal from motor vehicle’ is up 169 per cent over the past two years.

Barely a week goes by without police asking the community to ensure that they lock their vehicles and don’t leave possessions inside.

However, it seems the community isn’t listening and thieves are taking advantage.

This crime is by far the biggest spike in the NSW Bureau of Statistics latest quarterly crime report for Tumut, with most other offences remaining stable.

Tumut Inspector Stephen Radford emphasised the importance of locking vehicles to prevent crime.

“We are disappointed that many are failing to heed these warnings and continue to fall victim to opportunistic thieves,” Insp. Radford said.

“The reality is that we are dealing with a small group of offenders, many of them young people, who are looking for opportunities late at night or early in the morning to commit opportunistic offences.

“The message is consistent: lock your vehicles, secure your premises and report suspicious behaviours. Your local police are identifying and taking legal action against a range of offenders.

“Subsequently, police check to see that their bail conditions are being complied with on a regular basis”.

Break and enters also continue to rise, however at a more sedate 13 per cent.

The rates of ‘steal from motor vehicle’ and ‘steal from dwelling’ in the former Tumut shire are more than double the NSW average for those offences over the past year: 2.3 and 2.5 respectively, against a NSW average of 1.

A Tumut resident is more likely to have their items stolen from their car than a resident of Sydney, Parramatta or Wagga. In fact, in the past 12 months there were only five local government areas in NSW with higher rates of this offence per population: Newcastle, Moree Plains, Dubbo, Coonamble, and Armidale Dumeresq.

There were 132 reported instances of thefts from motor vehicles in the former Tumut shire in the past year. In the preceding 12 months, there were only 52 reported incidents.

In the last quarterly crime report, the Times reported that break and enters had more than doubled in the past two years. Since then, that rate was continued to climb, from 60 incidents in the year leading up to June 2016, to 68 incidents in the year leading up to June 2017.

The crimes in Tumut that were lower than the NSW average in the past year were murder, sexual assault, indecent assault or other sexual offences, robbery, steal from retail store, steal from person, and fraud.

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