Police targeting slack car owners after teen thief runs amok
FED up police in Blackwater have warned residents that they will seize any keys left in unlocked vehicles in a bid to curb rising car theft.
The police crackdown comes after 16-year-old boy was arrested on Tuesday and charged with six counts of enter premises (a motor vehicle) and committing an indictable offence, eight counts of unlawful motor vehicle, and two counts of wilful damage.
Since the beginning of May, Blackwater police have received 22 complaints over stolen vehicles, the unlawful entry of vehicles, and stealing offences.
Police are now turning their sights on lax vehicle owners who leave their vehicles insecure, providing a tempting target for car thieves.
The country habit of leaving vehicles insecure or leaving keys nearby the vehicle provided an easy access for opportunistic offenders.
"In some cases, stolen vehicles are further used for other offences?” Constable Vanessa Pennisi said.
"It is concerning that juvenile offenders are driving motor vehicles on our streets, which puts many road users at risk.”
Under section 213 of the Transport Operations (Road Use Management Road Rules) Regulation 2009, it is an offence to leave a vehicle insecure.
However, Const Pennisi said police understood that nobody has the right to enter a vehicle whether it was locked or unlocked.
In the past, Blackwater Police have refrained from issuing infringements for these offences and have instead focused on investigating and prosecuting offenders who break into vehicles.
Blackwater Police have already performed a number of operations in relation to these offences including plain clothes surveillance, foot and vehicle patrols of mining camp car parks and surrounding areas, and vehicle security compliance checks.
If police locate keys inside or nearby vehicles, they will be seized and if the owner cannot be immediately contacted, the keys will be kept at Blackwater Police Station.
Police are urging the public to help prevent these offences by securing motor vehicles and providing information to identify suspects.
If you have information for police, contact Policelink on 131 444.