GARDAÍ are urging people to lock their vehicles after a spate of thefts from cars in a Cork village.
Last weekend, thieves targeted estates in Watergrasshill and stole items from a number of cars which had been left unopened.
It is believed that at least four youths were involved in the incidents, which took place between 2am and 3am.
Crime prevention officer for Cork North garda division, Sergeant John Kelly, said: “People need to get into the routine of locking their cars and leaving nothing on display in them. Cars are being left unlocked.”
According to gardaí, 37% of all thefts from vehicles occur in residential locations. More than half of such incidents occur between 12 midnight and 7am, while driveways are the most common place these thefts.
However, 63% of such thefts occur away from non-residential locations, such as amenity areas, streets and car parks.
In such incidents, more than half are parked on streets, while 37% are in car parks, according to garda analysis of such crimes.
Thefts from vehicles in non-residential areas take place mostly during business hours.
Wherever you park your vehicle, gardaí advise you take you property with you, ensure your vehicle is locked, alarmed and ideally park in a secure, well-lit location. Store your keys safely, away from windows and letterboxes.
Typically, thieves are nabbing cash, jewellery and bank cards from vehicles.
In some cases, bank cards stolen from cars were used for purchases of €30, which do not require the card's PIN number.
And in other incidents, cars which had keys in them were stolen.
Figures from the Garda Analysis Service show that from January 2016 to December 2019, 46,582 vehicles were broken into across the country. In 8,157 cases, the vehicle was reported to have been unlocked. There were 12,343 vehicles broken into outside homes, of which 3,833 were unlocked.