Lock up your car and home, police warn

Vivienne CrawfordSenior Sergent Vivienne Crawford. Crime Prevention Officer Brisbane Water Police District.

Brisbane Water Police District Crime Prevention Coordinator, Vivienne Crawford, is warning residents to lock up their cars and personal belongings this Christmas after a noticeable rise in theft.

She said this could be due to the easing of COVID restrictions and the Christmas period.

Crawford said many cases of theft could be avoided by simply locking vehicles and not leaving personal belongings in plain sight.

“It is just opportunistic crime if you are going to leave your car unlocked,” Crawford said.

“Please encourage your neighbours, friends, relatives, and colleagues to lock up their vehicles.”

House theft is another area Crawford stressed should be monitored.

“Lock up your houses if you are going away; that also means the windows; with the heat sometimes we tend to forget, and we leave things unlocked and not secure,” she said.

“If you have got a whole heap of new presents, do not leave all the packaging out the front, brand new TV boxes etc – this is what thieves look for.”

Brisbane Water Police District has given the below tips for crime prevention and holiday home safety and security.

Let a trusted neighbour or family friend know of your whereabouts and contact details.

Ask them to watch your home, empty your mailbox, mow your lawn and, most importantly, call Triple Zero (000) if they notice anything suspicious, or if a smoke alarm is activated.

Dispose of Christmas wrapping and delivery/goods packaging carefully.

Don’t advertise your new valuables to would-be thieves. Lock away your handyman/ gardening tools, which may be used to force open doors or windows, and any item that may be used to gain access to the property or cause damage.

Record descriptions, models and serial numbers of your valuables and then put them somewhere safe.

Switch off and disconnect non-essential electrical appliances and IT equipment.

Ensure any electrical items you decide to leave on continuously, or on timer circuits, are in good working order – that includes lights left on to deter thieves both inside and outside.

Make sure that any lights you have left switched on are away from combustibles such as curtains and are of the right wattage to prevent overheating.

Switch off and empty clothes dryers before you leave.
Close all internal doors before you leave to help contain any fire that occurs.

Pay bills in advance, including electricity, gas, water, and telephone, so your supply continues while you’re away.

Avoid posting information about being away on holidays because thieves may use this information to target properties.

Be sure your home and contents insurance is adequate and up to date.

Check your doors, windows and garage are locked securely and remove spare keys from hiding places.

As you leave,check everything again.

Finally, if you have a home security alarm, activate it.

If your home has been broken into; Call your local police station immediately; Don’t touch anything; Let police see your home exactly as the thief left it.

While you are waiting for police to arrive, compile a list of what you think is missing; include brand names, model numbers, serial numbers, accurate descriptions and any engraving details.

Jacinta Counihan