Arrests as Ballarat Police crack down on car thieves

Ballarat Police have arrested three people this morning as part of an operation targeting vehicle crime in the area.

Detectives from Ballarat Crime Investigation Unit (CIU), supported by officers from the Public Order Response Team executed warrants in Redan, Wendouree and Mt Clear this morning, arresting two males and a female as part of Operation Silver Thunder.

Those arrested include a 51-year-old Ballarat Central man, a 45-year-old Alfredton man and a 21-year-old Sebastopol woman. They are expected to be charged with a range of offences including multiple counts of theft of motor vehicle as well as drug offences, driving when directed to stop and making threats to kill.

Police also used Automated Number Plate Recognition technology to check over 300 vehicles this morning, detecting several unregistered vehicles and an unlicensed driver who will be charged on summons. One vehicle was impounded.

The operation will continue into this evening with Ballarat’s Highway Patrol and Proactive Police Unit patrolling hot spot areas to gather intelligence on vehicles and persons of interest and deter crime.

Ballarat Police are urging the community to secure their premises and vehicles following a rise in car thefts in recent months. The majority of incidents have been as a result of an unlocked property or vehicle, with no sign of forced entry.

Police are also urging the community to remove all valuables from vehicles and where possible, park and lock their vehicles off the street. Additionally, people are encouraged to keep their keys out of sight and never near the entry of their home.

The community is encouraged to report suspicious behaviour or information to Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or submit a confidential report at www.crimestoppersvic.com.au.

Quotes attributable to Ballarat CIU Detective Senior Sergeant Tim Argall

“Following a rise in theft of and from motor vehicles in Ballarat in recent months detectives have worked hard to identify and arrest high priority persons of interest to put a stop to this offending.

“People often consider these types of crimes to be victimless, but they are not. There is a great deal of difficulty and inconvenience after someone’s car, number plate or wallet is stolen.

“We also know a stolen car can often lead to more violent offences such as aggravated burglaries, ram raids, pursuits and evading police which is why we are committed to tracking down these offenders and holding them to account.

“Ballarat police will continue to focus on reducing vehicle crime in the community to ensure people and their property is safe. We also ask that you help us help you by locking your car at all times – even when parking at home in the driveway or garage – and making sure your home is secured to that thieves can’t steal your car keys.”

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