Gardaí are advising motorists to secure their vehicles when parking in unattended car parks in coastal and scenic locations, as millions of euro worth of property are stolen from cars each year.
The average value of property stolen is approximately €660, with cash making up an average of €330 per incident. Catalytic converters, cash, car accessories, jewellery, electronics, and tools are the items most targeted in these incidents.
The summer months see an increase in vehicle break-ins at locations associated with outdoor activities; such as hill walking, hiking, beaches etc.
Around 60% of these incidents happen between April and September. While these thefts can occur at any time, the majority occur on weekends between 2pm and 7pm.
Sergeant Ber Leetch, Crime Prevention Officer, today said: “Whilst overall theft from car incidents have reduced in the last 12 months, we anticipate the relaxation of Covid-19 restrictions will see increased opportunities for criminals to take advantage of us as we holiday here in Ireland this summer.”
If you are travelling with your car to coastal and scenic areas this summer, plan your journey before you go. Check online if the location has a website or app with safety tips for visitors.
Leave the expensive property at home if not required. Choose well serviced and well lit car parks where possible. Avoid car parks with signs of public disorder or criminal damage, such as broken glass.
Park legally, do not obstruct vehicles or entrances.
When you are leaving your car in remote locations, take your keys with you. It goes without saying that things like handbags, jackets, wallets, laptops, and shopping should never be left on view in the vehicle. A good idea is to leave an empty glove box open, showing would-be criminals that there is nothing for them to steal.
As you leave, double check that your doors and windows are locked. Don’t be tempted to leave the windows slightly open.
If you are the victim of a crime or if you see any suspicious activity call 999 or 112 and report it.