05/08/2021

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Gardaí issue scenic spot and seaside theft parking alert

Slieve Bloom mountain car parks shut as Gardaí urge walkers to avoid busy spots

Gardaí on duty in the Slieve Blooms

Gardaí have warned motorists to lock their vehicles at unattended carparks in coastal and scenic locations around Ireland as millions of Euro worth of property is stolen from cars each year.

The guards issued a statement to alert the public to break-in alerts. The key points in the warning are as follows:

•  60% of thefts from vehicles at locations associated with outdoor activities, occur in summer months
• Weekends between 2pm and 7pm most likely time for thefts to occur
• Just over €36 million in value was stolen in Theft from vehicles between 2016 – 2020
• €660 average value of property stolen per incident. €330 in cash taken per incident
• Catalytic converters, cash, electronics, jewellery and tools items most targeted

Gardaí say the average value of property stolen is approximately €660, with cash making up an average of €330 per incident. Cash, car accessories, jewellery, electronics, and tools are the items most targeted in these incidents.

The guards warn that the summer months see an increase in vehicle break-ins at locations associated with outdoor activities; such as hill walking, hiking, beaches etc. The alert added that around 60% of these incidents happen between April and September. While these thefts can occur at any time, gardaí warn that the majority occur on weekends between 2pm and 7pm.

Garda Sergeant Ber Leetch is a Crime Prevention Officer.

"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 carparks 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,” concluded the officer.

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