Over the last few weeks there has been an increase in the number of vehicle thefts and thefts from vehicles in the Riccarton area of Christchurch.
The vehicles being targeted by opportunistic thieves appear to be parked either on the roadside or up driveways.
Senior Constable Lyle Prior from Riccarton Neighbourhood Police Team said over three quarters of the vehicles stolen from the Riccarton area recently were parked on the side of the road outside residential properties. A further 15 percent were parked in private driveways while none were reported stolen from inside private garages”
“Opportunistic thieves appear to be targeting work vehicles, utes and tools. We understand that not everyone has the luxury of parking their vehicles in a locked garage or off the road but there are simple steps that can be taken to reduce the likelihood of your vehicle being targeted. This includes the installation (and setting) of a car alarm which can often be less than the excess on an insurance policy. A basic car alarm will definitely be less than the cost of replacing your vehicle, particularly if it is uninsured.”
“Before you install a car alarm check with your insurance company to see whether they have a list of approved models that will reduce your premiums. Other simple steps are to lock your vehicles and remove valuables out of sight into a secure area if you are leaving your car unattended. If you work in the trade and have tools in your vehicle make sure they are marked and record serial numbers to help prevent them being sold on.”
Photos of your property can be saved with the serial numbers to create your own personal asset register using secure online systems such as SNAP (Serial Number Action Partnership). SNAP is a New Zealand Police initiative that aims to prevent burglary and property offending by making it harder for criminals to sell stolen goods in New Zealand.
The SNAP website (http://www.snap.org.nz) allows you to enter, maintain and access the details of all of your important possessions or assets.
If items are stolen, owners can retrieve and forward the details to Police and insurance companies.
The police urge people to report crime when it happens or as soon as they notice items have been stolen. This together with an asset list will help Police to identify and return recovered property to the rightful owner breaking the cycle of crime in Canterbury.
“If you find property that you believe is yours for sale on Facebook, Trademe or in second hand shops contact Police straight away. Be a good neighbour and report suspicious activity to Police straight away by calling 111,” says Senior Constable Prior.