Don’t wait to report theft

Warren HatelyAugusta Margaret River Times
Margaret River Police officer-in-charge Sgt Luke Fowler has asked residents to please lock up cars and homes.
Camera IconMargaret River Police officer-in-charge Sgt Luke Fowler has asked residents to please lock up cars and homes. Credit: Warren Hately

Margaret River police are urging residents and accommodation providers to avoid complacency in securing valuables and keeping homes and cars locked.

Officers have responded to a slew of recent thefts — from vehicles in particular — as well as stealing from short-term rentals.

Sgt Luke Fowler said local police were on standby to help residents and business operators, but too many crimes were not reported until weeks later, after insurance claims had been lodged.

He said it was often too late for forensic examinations or to get hold of CCTV footage when police reports were lodged as an afterthought.

“People just aren’t locking their cars, be it at their homes or overnight in public places,” Sgt Fowler told the Times.

“It can cause some issues.

“We need to get the message out.

“We (also) attend homes when there’s no one there and they are right open. Anyone can walk in.”

Sgt Fowler said cash, phones, laptops, bags and other valuables were frequently taken from unlocked cars.

Less common was siphoning of fuel from parked vehicles.

Holiday homes were an ongoing target for opportunistic thieves who stole phones, credit cards and other items, he said.

Sgt Fowler encouraged car and property owners to call police immediately, rather than weeks after the crime. He stressed it was not a waste of police time.

“A month later, you’re a long shot to find CCTV footage,” he said.

“We are more than happy to come out and patrol.”

He said police also welcomed residents telling them when they would be out of town, and officers could patrols streets if they knew homes were unoccupied.

“It’s what we’re here to do,” Sgt Fowler said.

“I’d like more people to come to us and let us know. We can shine some lights and run patrols.

“We want the local residents to be part of crime prevention.”

Contact Margaret River police on 9757 2222.

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