GARDAÍ have expressed concern at the increasing number of cars which are being broken into at beauty spots along the south-west coast.
Most of the crimes were committed during daylight hours.
Last month alone 27 break-ins to vehicles were reported in the Cork West Garda Division, with the majority of incidents occurring along the stretch of coastline between Kinsale and The Warren in Rosscarbery.
In all cases the windows of cars had been smashed and valuable items left on display inside were stolen.
Amazingly, some of the car owners hadn’t even locked their vehicles.
According to Sergeant Ian O’Callaghan, the area’s crime prevention officer, the most common items stolen were handbags, sat-navs, wallets and mobile phones.
“Areas being targeted are amenity walks and beach car parks. In many instances people have only left their vehicle for a very short time and returned to find their car damaged and property stolen. The break-ins are occurring in daylight hours predominantly,” Sgt O’Callaghan said.
With the summer approaching, more and more people will be heading for areas which are being targeted by the thieves.
“People should plan in advance what exactly they need to take with them for their journey and the advice is to leave any valuables at home and not to take them with you,” Sgt O’Callaghan said. He added that under no circumstances should people leave any items of value visibly on display.
Sgt O’Callaghan said people shouldn’t put their valuables into the boot when they arrive at beauty spots because it is highly possible that this could be seen by would-be thieves lurking nearby.
“Again, putting a jacket or blanket over items in the passenger seats is inviting trouble as is simply putting objects under car seats that can still be seen with a bit of effort,” the crime prevention officer said.
He pointed out that the vast majority of these crimes are opportunistic and the quieter the place you have parked the more inviting it is, particularly if items are on display as there will be few witnesses, if any.
“If you have travelled and realised there are valuables in the car with you that you can’t take with you, then it is advisable to stop your car a mile or so from your destination and then place the items in the boot. This will rule out you being watched doing so at your chosen destination,” Sgt O’Callaghan said.
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