Peel District Police Superintendent Peter Halliday has implored residents to lock up and be smart about their property after the latest crime figures revealed a sharp rise in burglaries and motor vehicle thefts in the region.
Motor vehicle theft doubled across the Peel region in October, up to 147, and burglaries increased nearly 40 per cent for the same month.
The warning from the region’s top cop comes ahead of the festive and holiday season when many residents are expected to go away and expose themselves to opportunistic thieves.
Supt Halliday said he was encouraged police had managed to apprehend some perpetrators but people were making it too easy for offenders to target their homes and property.
“What we’ve really noticed of late is stealing from cars at night, when people park their cars out on the verge,” he said.
“It is unbelievable the number of people who leave things in their car of value and then park them out on the verge.
“We have got a wave of cars getting broken into and every car has got a wallet in the console, an iPad in the pocket or a handbag on the back seat with a laptop in it and they wonder why their car gets broken into and their window gets smashed.”
Supt Halliday said police had conducted operations to target criminal activity in the region and believed the incidents to be isolated.
He said targeted patrols could only achieve so much and simple security measures were the best way to prevent a burglary or theft.
“Be aware of where you put your keys — they don’t belong on the kitchen table, they belong away somewhere in a drawer so they’re not obvious,” he said.
“If you are driving a particular car that is highly attractive to these people, like a high-powered vehicle, you have got to have extra security for your keys and around your house.
“If you’re going to spend that much money on a car, you should definitely have a tracking device put into it.”