Victoria Police are offering tips for the public after the first eight months of 2020 saw a jump in break and enters compared to 2019.
Police say that from January 1 to September 14 2019, there were 207 break and enters at underground parkades, detached sheds, garages, and construction site storage lockers.
During the same time period for 2020, there were 414 break and enters at the same types of locations.
VicPD particularly highlighted a rise in break and enters at underground parkades, which rose from 2019 to 2020 by 40 per cent for the period of January 1 to September 14.
Police say thieves often target storage lockers and vehicles after entering parkades. They also focus on high value items such as bicycles, tech (phones, laptops, small appliances like vacuums and electronics) as well as tools often found in sheds, outbuildings and storage lockers.
Officers are suggesting some key steps the public can take to protect themselves, including:
- Photograph bikes, important tech and tools, and record serial numbers. Email them to yourself to make for an easy to find record in the event they are stolen. Marking these items with contact information also makes it easy for officers to reach you when they recover your stolen property.
- Strengthen locks and lighting on sheds and storage areas. If an item is really high value, it may be safer inside your residence or unit.
- Never leave valuables inside a vehicle.
- Make your property friendly but clearly private with short hedges, plants, fences and lights.
- If you see someone suspicious in your underground parkade, call VicPD’s non-emergency line at 250-995-7654, extension 1.
They also suggest that members of the public adopt Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) principles around their property. More information on CPTED is available online.