WA South East Metro District and RAC Insurance are encouraging Western Australians to be extra vigilant this summer when it comes to leaving valuables in their car, particularly when parking in public areas.

An increase of offences including stealing from motor vehicles has led to a new South East District local initiative termed ’Gone in less than 60 seconds’, demonstrating just how quick and easy it can be for a thief to break in and grab any valuable items from your car.

Sergeant Matt Sharp, Community Engagement Coordinator, South East Metropolitan District described the ‘Gone in Less than 60 Seconds’ initiative as a “joint collaborative project aimed at showing the public in a visual way how easy it can be for thieves to break in to a car and to provide advice to vehicle owners on how to avoid being a victim of crime.

“No one wants to be the victim of a crime, and unfortunately nowadays opportunistic offenders see your vehicle as a “shop window”. Footage shows, it takes well under 60 seconds to smash a window and grab that wallet containing ‘tap and go’ cards left in full view.

“Even in broad daylight, and in a busy area  like a café strip or shopping complex car park an item left in sight like a mobile phone, a pair of sunglasses, or even a few coins are too much of a temptation for some offenders.”

Some of the most common items stolen from cars include:

  • Handbags/wallets
  • Cash
  • Mobile phones
  • GPS devices
  • In-car video/entertainment systems
  • CDs etc
  • Laptops
  • Jewellery
  • Sunglasses and glasses
  • Exterior fittings e.g. badges
  • Other vehicle parts

Here are our top tips to discourage opportunistic thieves:

  1. Take all valuables with you when leaving your car and avoid having items such as GPS systems or sunglasses on display or easily visible from outside.
  2. Think about what you really need to have in your car. If you’re headed to the park, do you have to bring your laptop or tablet with you?
  3. If you don’t have a car alarm, you can purchase small blinking light devices from most car accessory shops that can be fixed to your dashboard and resemble a car alarm sensor.
  4. Always keep loose change out of sight.
  5. Park in a garage and lock your car as well as the garage. If you are parking outside, try to park your car under a well-lit area such as a street light or consider installing motion sensor lights outside near your driveway.
  6. Remove mounted portable accessories such as GPS devices, music players etc. It’s a good idea to use anti-bacterial wipes to remove the ring after hiding a GPS as this can let thieves know that you’ve hidden one in the car.
  7. Remember – What you can see from outside of your car, a thief can see!