The West

Break-ins target car keys
Break-ins target car keys

Police are warning motorists and homeowners to secure their houses as figures show one in three stolen vehicles is taken in burglaries.

More than 9000 vehicles, including scooters and motorcycles, were stolen across the State in 2012-13.

Police are hoping a renewed call for the public to be more vigilant with their keys will help reverse what has been a rising trend over the past three years.

There have been 22,615 burglaries committed this financial year to date compared with 23,568 for the same period last financial year.

There also has been a reduction in the number of vehicle thefts, falling from 6068 this time last year to 5633 this year.

Acting Assistant Commissioner Murray Smalpage said 70 per cent of vehicles stolen were taken using car keys and many home burglaries were committed for the sole purpose of stealing keys and cars.

"You don't want to be a victim of crime this summer - the message is simple, safeguard your keys, safeguard your car," he said.

Mr Smalpage said stolen vehicles were often used in other crimes.

Close to 30 per cent of home burglaries in WA occur because doors and windows are not locked.

"In the summer months when it is hotter, people might be a little bit lax around their personal security because of the heat, but our experience is offenders are opportunistic," Mr Smalpage said.

"If you make yourself vulnerable, they will take the opportunity and steal whatever they can get their hands on."

Police Minister Liza Harvey said new three-strike laws applying to repeat burglary offenders were likely to be introduced to Parliament in the next three weeks.

The West Australian

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