Geelong police are continuing to crack down on car thieves, with 33 arrests relating to theft of motor vehicle and theft from motor vehicle offences over the last two months
The arrests have been executed by detectives from the Geelong Tasking and Crime Intervention Team (TACIT) as part of a dedicated focus on car theft in the region.
Last month, TACIT officers arrested a 26-year-old-male from Glenfyne in relation to the alleged theft of five different vehicles from locations including Geelong and Colac.
He has been charged with a total of 19 offences including; five counts of theft of motor vehicle, theft from motor vehicle, three counts of handling stolen goods, dangerous driving while pursued by police, reckless conduct endangering serious injury, failing to stop on police request, unlicensed driving, failing to stop after an accident and possessing methyl amphetamine. He has been remanded to appear in the Geelong Magistrates Court on 16 June 2020.
Last month, police arrested a 17-year-old male from Lara after he allegedly stole valuables from a car in Newtown. He has been charged with 21 offences including; theft from a motor vehicle, 15 counts of obtaining property by deception, dealing property suspected proceeds of crime, possessing cannabis and ecstasy, and two counts of committing indictable offences while on bail. He has also been bailed and will appear in court at a later date.
Last week, the same offender came to police attention again and has been charged with five additional motor vehicle-related offences. He was bailed and will appear in court at a later date in relation to these matters.
In a sign that police are not only zeroing in on those stealing cars, a 60-year-old male from Burnside was also arrested recently in relation to stealing power tools and tradesmen equipment from four cars in Hamlyn Heights, Fyansford and Lara.
He has been charged with 12 offences including four counts of theft from motor vehicle, four counts of criminal damage and four counts of obtaining property by deception. He was remanded in custody to appear in the Geelong Magistrates Court on 28 May 2020.
Detective Acting Sergeant Jason Tom said the arrests were the result of a focused two-month investigation by officers in the Geelong Police Service Area who have been patrolling known hotspots.
“We are focused on driving down vehicle crime in the local community and we want to reassure the community these issues remain a top priority for your local police.
“This operation and the subsequent arrests has contributed to a significant decrease in the number of cars being stolen and valuables being stolen from cars in Geelong
“We’re putting the clamps on car thieves not only because of the impact this offending has on victims, but also the fact stolen vehicles are often used to commit further crimes, such as burglaries and ram raids.
Detective Acting Sergeant Tom said it’s also important to think about your home security as car thieves often seize an opportunity to sneak in and steal car keys when they are left on display near an open window or unlocked door.
“These types of offenders want to get in and out of the property as quickly as possible to avoid being caught or confronted.
“They are opportunistic and will often look for keys and other easy items to steal in
the kitchen and living area – that is why it’s so important that everyone takes a few simple steps to reduce the risk of becoming a victim of vehicle-related theft.
“Police will continue to work hard in the Geelong and Bellarine communities to apprehend burglars and car thieves, but we also ask everyone to take a few simple steps to reduce the risk of becoming a victim of vehicle-related theft:
• Always store car keys out of view and away from external doors and windows.
• Make sure you have your keys with you at all times. This includes times when you are out and you’ve left your car at home.
• When you are out do not leave car keys unattended in bags, lockers etc.
• Don’t tag your car keys with your name or address. Use a mobile phone number instead.
• Never leave a spare set of house keys or car keys in your car.
Make sure your home is secured so that thieves can’t steal your car keys. This includes:
• Installing good quality locks on doors and windows.
• Lock all windows and doors, even when you’re at home – unlocked side and rear doors are the most common entry points for burglars.
• Remove valuable items from plain sight – particularly car keys, wallets, electronic devices and cash.
If you need immediate police assistance always call Triple Zero (000). Report any suspicious behaviour to your local police station or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.