Det Insp Shane Diehm
Det Insp Shane Diehm

Thieves upgrade stolen goods

AS TECHNOLOGY evolves so does the tastes of thieves, who now have an appetite for iPods and laptops rather than the outdated watches and video players.

According to the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research, in the past 10 years there has been a dramatic change in the nature of stolen goods as thieves choose portable consumer goods over electronic equipment.

In 2001, DVD players were stolen in 19% of all household burglaries.

In 2010 they were only stolen in 6% of all thefts.

But in the current day and age where you can listen to music, monitor the time, watch a movie, tweet and email all from a single hand-held device, all you really need is a mobile phone or an iPod, which was the 12th most commonly stolen item last year.

Ten years ago, the personal music device did not even make an appearance in the top 20.

Cash is still the most desirable item for thieves, followed closely by laptops, jewellery and still cameras in 2010.

In 2001, the second, third and fourth spots were occupied by jewellery, video/DVD players and watches, respectively.

Angela Connelly was sound asleep in her Lennox Head home when a thief broke in and stole her's and her husband's bags – containing $500 cash.

“A man came in through the side door, which was closed but not locked,” she said.

“He ran out down the street and shoved our bags in a bin.

"A rubbish truck driver found the bags and we went to the tip, gave him a case of beer and got our bags back.

“I was surprised they did not take anything else.”

Over the past decade, recorded household burglaries decreased by 50% in NSW.

But locally, break-and-enters were still a concern for police, Tweed/Byron Local Area Command crime manager Detective Inspector Shane Diehm said.

“While most areas of crime in the Tweed/Byron LAC have seen a decrease in frequency, break-and-enters have increased in number and are of concern to the commands,” he said.

“Residential properties account for the larger proportion of the crimes committed.

“A worrying feature to police is that offenders are getting into homes via unlocked doors and windows.

"Residents are also leaving vehicle remote controls, wallets and money in highly visible locations.”

Motor vehicles, laptops, notebooks, iPods and cash were among most frequently stolen property, Det Insp Diehm said.

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