Car-azy! 2,219 vehicles in Wicklow broken into in recent years: new crime stats
More than 2,000 local car owners have had their vehicles broken into over the past four years.
The figures were revealed this week as gardai appealed to motorists to “park Smart” over the busy Christmas period.
According to gardai, a total of €30.6 million worth of items such as tools, cash, sunglasses, electronics and jewellery have been stolen from cars across the country since January 2016.
Nationally, a total of 46,582 vehicles were broken into over the past four years. In 8,157 of these cases the vehicle was reported to have been unlocked. A total of 2,209 vehicles were broken into in the Wicklow Garda division during the same period – almost 5% of the overall national figure.
Of the 12,343 vehicles broken into outside homes almost a third (3,833) are reported to have been unlocked.
Gardai urged car owners not to “make things easy for criminals” and ensure their vehicles are locked at all times.
The analysis also revealed that the most common location for these thefts are in driveways, and that most common times are between 12midnight and 6am.
Crime Prevention Officer Sgt James O Donovan said: “What is happening now is criminals will go around areas like housing estates and streets where lots of cars are parked up and they will try every car door because they know we are leaving some of them unlocked. Let’s not make it easy for these criminals, make sure to lock you vehicle every time.
“Wherever you park your vehicle, 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. Try not to leave any valuables in the car whatsoever.
“Sometimes it is impractical to remove tools and equipment from vehicles. In these cases, owners should take extra steps to ensure the safety of their property. Additional locking mechanisms to vehicles should be fitted. Consider a monitored vehicle alarm and tracking devices for valuable property.
“Try marking and photographing your property and take a record of serial numbers, makes and models. You can download a property register booklet on www.garda.ie . This can not only deter a criminal from taking your property, but it means if we recover the stolen items we can get them back to you.”