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Lock up your cars

By johnboy - 4 May 2011 19

A senior ACT Policing officer says that if you leave your vehicle unlocked and leave valuable items in view, you might as well put out a ‘welcome mat’ for opportunistic thieves.

Sergeant Rod Anderson, Officer in Charge of the Tuggeranong Police Station provided this message after a number of items were removed from unlocked vehicles in the Tuggeranong area on Sunday evening (May 1).

Sergeant Anderson said that although there are a number of simple steps people could take to make their vehicles less appealing to thieves, there are some people who are still not getting the message.

“Some people seem to have the perception that they can afford to be relaxed about vehicle security once they are in familiar territory at home. Always remember to lock doors and windows even if your car is parked in your garage. This can act as a deterrent for would-be thieves and help keep your car safe and secure,” he said.

Items stolen from unlocked vehicles across the Tuggeranong region on Sunday evening included a GPS, a set of keys, cash, an ipod and a portable DVD player.

Police would urge anyone that sees any person acting suspiciously or see anything that would indicate that people are stealing items from vehicles, to call police on 131 444 or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000. Information can be provided anonymously.

[Courtesy ACT Policing]

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19 Responses to
Lock up your cars
RedDogInCan 9:38 am 05 May 11

In other news, the Bureau of Meteorology warns people not to leave valuable items outside due to the chance of rain.

KeenGolfer 7:43 am 05 May 11

Stevian said :

It’s a fact. Ask your local plod. In the case of a residence, and your motor vehicle is an extension of such, to facilitate access (ie leave the window or door open/unlocked) makes it at least questionable that any crime has been committed and admits the very real possibility that you willfully complicit.

What rubbish. There is no such thing here as the American “break and enter”. It doesn’t matter whether the doors are locked or not. I suggest you read the legislation, start with the Ciminal Code 2002 section 311 – Burglary:

(1) A person commits an offence (burglary) if the person enters or remains in a building as a trespasser with intent—
(a) to commit theft of any property in the building; or
(b) to commit an offence that involves causing harm, or threatening to cause harm, to anyone in the building; or
(c) to commit an offence in the building that—
(i) involves causing damage to property; and
(ii) is punishable by imprisonment for 5 years or longer.
Maximum penalty: 1 400 penalty units, imprisonment for 14 years
or both.

Does it mention there anything about the doors being unlocked? Didn’t think so…

Mental Health Worker 5:26 am 05 May 11

I think it may be an offence to leave your car keys in the car (so a word of warning to people who keep a spare key hidden somewhere in or on the car). Leaving it unlocked would probably not be illegal, but not clever in any built up area. If you want to, move to a low-crime area like the country or small country towns.

Your house is another matter – if you leave the front door wide open and someone walks in without permission, they are committing an offence, though it might only be trespass rather than break and enter. Since they didn’t have to break in. If they take something then they’ve committed theft. But it’s a much lesser offence than break enter and steal.

Cars are highly regulated by government, e.g. licensing and registration and insurance, speeding, intoxication etc. In comparison there are very few laws relating to your home (smoke alarms and pool fences, noise etc). Governments clearly see car use as a privilege to be regulated and rationed, whereas your home is a right.

As a rough guide, the more effort the offender has to go to to commit the crime, the more serious it is. If they threaten you, it becomes robbery or if you are at home they may be charged with aggravated burglary. I’ve never understood why in the latter circumstances police and DPP charge people with aggravated burglary instead of robbery or armed robbery, which generally has a higher penalty and is much more obviously a “violent” offence on their criminal record. Aggravated burglary can be “aggravated” solely by being with a co-offender or carrying a tool.

On a similar note, why wasn’t Russell Field (as an example of a clear pattern in prosecution practice) also charged with firearms offences, so that when the murder prosecution failed, he could still be convicted of the firearms offence, instead of just the drugs offence he was convicted of.


dvaey 1:39 am 05 May 11

Two words come to mind.. bait car

Catch all these crooks and make them always wonder if what theyre stealing from is a bait car..

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