When Sunshine Coast Police locate an unsecured vehicle and speak to drivers it is not unusual for the response to be: ‘I didn’t know that was an offence’ – but it actually is!
Under the Transport Operations (Road Use Management – Road Rules) Regulation 2009 there are a number of offences around securing vehicles.
Two of the main offences that we see are ‘Driver failed to remove the ignition key with no one over 16 years remaining with the vehicle’ and ‘Driver failed to lock the vehicle after leaving the vehicle’.
Both offences have a $55 fine. Whilst it may not be a hefty fine, there are other implications such as identity theft, stolen property and vehicle theft.
Theft from, and also of, unlocked vehicles is an ongoing problem across the Sunshine Coast and yet is simple to reduce – if everyone secured their unattended vehicles.
Police and volunteers will often patrol carparks and streets, leaving notes for drivers identifying the valuables that have been left in their vehicles with a note saying ‘Lock it or Lose it”.
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Laptops, tablets, phones, mail (with your home address and details on it), keys and money are common examples of property left in vehicles. Tools and other work-related items are also commonly left unsecured.
Not only are vehicles being left unlocked, but we also see vehicles with keys left in the ignition!
The only thing missing is a note saying “please steal me”. Opportunistic offending is very common and the result of us not taking simple precautions to secure our property, including our vehicles!!
Again, it is the cost, the inconvenience and the ongoing implications if your vehicle or your property is stolen. It could even affect your employment if you don’t have vehicle to get to work or if your ID is stolen it could lead to identity theft.
Sunshine Coast Police ask all residents to help us reduce crime by taking simple precautions to secure your vehicles and remove valuables items.
This column is compiled by the Sunshine Coast District Crime Prevention Unit.