Gardaí are appealing to motorists to ‘park smart’ in a new initiative following statistics which revealed one third of vehicles broken into were left unlocked.
Figures from the Garda Analysis Service released show that 8,571 vehicles parked at residential locations were broken into between 2015 and 2017 and of those vehicles, 2,824 were reported to be unlocked.
The analysis also shows that the most common location for thefts was in driveways, and half occurred between 12 midnight and 7am.
On average, over €340K worth of property was stolen from vehicles each year including cash, laptops, tools, sunglasses, jewellery and sports equipment.
Gardaí are appealing for all vehicle owners to ensure they lock their vehicle no matter where it is parked. Do not store valuables in the car, but if you do have to, keep them out of sight.
Another point to note is that according to the Garda Stolen Motor Vehicle Investigation Unit, the vast majority of cars illegally entered or stolen from are done so using the vehicle’s key.
The vast majority of vehicles stolen continue to be taken with keys obtained in burglaries and An Garda Síochána are advising motorists to avoid leaving them on the hall table or near a door/window where they could be easily taken.
Sgt Kelvin Courtney from the Garda Crime Prevention National Centre of Excellence stated: “Wherever you park your car or van, we would always advise you to take your property with you and ensure the vehicle is locked, alarmed and parked in a secure, well-lit location.”