RESIDENTS are urged to be vigilant of opportunistic crime after a string of brazen thefts from residential driveways in Emerald.
Nine unsecured vehicles were targeted in a matter of days last week, many of them parked on the street or in driveways and with valuables inside.The latest thefts come just weeks after an Emerald police blitz, which sought to reduce the incidence of opportunistic crime and make vehicle owners aware their property was at risk.
In a little under a month during the Lock it or Lose it campaign, officers identified 56 unlocked vehicles in the local area, 12 of which still had the keys in the ignition.
Last week, one Esmond St resident confronted two men sitting in his car parked in the driveway. Luckily, on this occasion the offenders fled with little more than the man's credit card from the vehicle, which was left unsecured.
A few blocks away in School Ln, another vehicle was targeted and a wallet taken from the glovebox.
Emerald police officer-in-charge Senior Sergeant Peter McFarlane said the high incidence of preventable crime was frustrating, especially considering it followed weeks of education designed to curb the growing problem.
"It really doesn't help us to do our job when people leave easy targets for thieves, with unsecured vehicles and valuables inside," he said.
"If it's worth it, and they like it, they'll take it.
"People need to take basic precautions and lock their vehicles and secure valuables, no matter where it is located."
RACQ research reveals car thefts occur closer to home than most people would think with a quarter of all stolen vehicles in Queensland taken from driveways or garages.
Queensland was also the top hot-spot for car thieves, as the only mainland state where the incidence of car thefts rose in the five years to 2011.
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