TORQUAY Police is urging people to lock their vehicles after a considerable rise in vehicle crime throughout the area.
Senior Sergeant Aaron Riches said Jan Juc, in particular, had been the home to numerous incidents of people stealing from cars in recent weeks.
“There’s been a significant increase in thefts from vehicles in Jan Juc the past month compared with the six months previous.”
He said there were various reasons for the increase in thefts from vehicles, but most could be negated by people locking their vehicles.
“I don’t believe the people stealing from cars abide by COVID restrictions; it’s probably more to do with some warmer weather, combined with people at their homes in Jan Juc and Torquay being largely housebound, and they are consistently leaving vehicles and garages unlocked.
“Victoria Police are doing all we can in terms of operational tasking, planned operations, positive messaging, residential support through Neighbourhood Watch to try to educate around unlocked vehicles.
“People are of the view that we’re in a coastal alcove and that it will be fine to leave their car unlocked, and the reality is it’s an open plate for crime.”
Last month, Torquay Police partnered with Neighbourhood Watch Surf Coast to launch operation Park Smart.
Signs encouraging people to remove their valuables and lock their cars were placed in high-density parking areas, with leaflets also being placed under car windscreen wipers and in letterboxes.