CRIME STOPPERS AND POLICE CALL ON WODONGA RESIDENTS TO HELP PUT THE BRAKES ON THEFT

A recent spate of theft from parked vehicles in the Wodonga area has driven Crime Stoppers and Wodonga police to urge local motorists to secure their cars against thieves.

Figures released recently by Wodonga police show 34 thefts from motor vehicles occurred in Wodonga during August this year, and a further 34 reports were made to police during September.

Wodonga Police Senior Sergeant Chris Parr is keen to see these numbers reduced, and has highlighted a few simple steps for motorists to take to ensure their vehicle doesn’t become a target of theft.

“We are encouraging motorists to play their part in reducing theft from motor vehicles in Wodonga,” he said.

“This includes locking all doors and windows, parking in a well-lit area, and making sure all valuables are removed or out of sight, including GPS units, handbags and wallets, laptops and other electronics.

“These items can be very attractive to an opportunistic thief.”

Crime Stoppers Victoria CEO Sam Hunter echoed the call for motorists to remain vigilant.

“People often leave valuables in plain sight thinking they will only be away from their car for a few minutes, but often that’s more than enough time for thieves to strike,” said Ms Hunter.

“Theft from motor vehicles can lead to a number of other crimes, with credit cards stolen from vehicles later being used to commit deception and fraud.”

Local business owners and tradespeople can also find themselves targeted, with power and hand tools amongst the items most commonly stolen.

Wodonga Chamber of Commerce spokesperson Bernie Squire emphasised that theft from business vehicles was a cost ultimately borne by the community.

“Thefts like these increase the cost of being in business for tradespeople,” Mr Squire said.

“That increased cost is either absorbed by the business, covered by insurance- resulting in higher premiums which increases business costs, or passed onto customers.”

Senior Sergeant Chris Parr recommends that tools are kept in locked toolboxes that are then secured to the vehicle.

Residents who are witnessing theft from motor vehicles are encouraged to call 000.

To report information about theft from motor vehicles, or any other criminal activity, report confidentially to Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000, or online at www.crimestoppersvic.com.au.

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