POLICE and security experts have issued warnings on how to safe-proof your vehicle as the number of cars being stolen continues to accelerate at a dramatic rate.
The calls follow revelations that a car is being stolen almost everyday from across the city’s suburbs, with the monthly count tipping 25.
In the wake of the crime spree, local police have urged people to remove all valuables and loose change from vehicles, and ensure all windows are closed and doors are locked.
Officers have also warned people should park in a garage, but if they choose to park on the street, park in a well-lit area that is visible from your home.
Wagga Car Radio and Hi-Fi sales manager Dan Grundy said interest in car security had peaked recently, with up to four people fitting immobilisers, alarm systems or GPS trackers each week.
“There’s certainly been a bit more of late, that’s for sure,” Mr Grundy said. “Generally people will come in when it’s too late; their car will be stolen then they’ll come get an alarm.”
Mr Grundy said people should keep things out of sight, including GPS suction mounts and iPod cords as thieves will suspect the items could be hidden elsewhere inside the car.
Starting at $199 fitted, the cheapest vehicle security options are immobilisers, which disable a car’s engine and can reduce insurance premiums under some companies.
Mr Grundy said the most popular security measure people were taking was the alarm system, which usually cost less than $500.
“If they (thieves) see it flashing, it’s a bit of a deterrent,” Mr Grundy said.
A more advance measure of GPS tracking allows car owners to determine a ‘geofence’ perimeter and track where their vehicle is.
Police are still searching for a white Holden utility that was stolen between midnight and 5.30am yesterday from Idaho Street, Tolland and sighted about 8am on Red Hill Road.
Twenty-one-year-old Jacob is the latest victim to speak out about a Brumby utility stolen from his Kooringal home in a three-hour window Sunday night, before it was found damaged and abandoned on Adjin Street, Mount Austin.
Jacob was advised by police that offenders used screw drivers to break in and push-start the manual car.
“I don’t think there’s any way they can stop them,” Jacob said. “I would never have thought this was going to happen (to me).”
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.