Car thieves target older vehicles

FOUR car thefts in the Richmond area on Sunday night have prompted police to issue a warning to motorists to secure their vehicles properly – particularly as the holiday season approaches.

The vehicles were stolen from Ballina, Lismore and Smiths Creek, north-west of Kyogle.

Senior Constable Michael Hogan said car thieves in the region were targeting older vehicles with less security, and most vehicle thefts and break-ins were opportunistic. He said simple measures could drastically reduce the chance of cars being stolen or broken into.

“Basic precautions like steering wheel locks will convince many thieves to move on,” he said.

“We highly recommend anti-theft devices such as alarms and immobilisers.

“While we don’t see many cars being stolen for parts or resale, unfortunately a lot are found burnt out or damaged.

“People think they are covered by insurance, but it is still expensive – you still pay. You have to consider excess penalties and the increased new premiums. Too many people still leave keys in the ignition.”

Snr Const Hogan also reminded people not to leave items like cameras, mobile phones and laptop computers in cars as they make vehicles attractive to smash-and-grab thieves.

“These thieves will target parking areas near beaches, parks and swimming-holes,” he said.



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