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Source: State of Victoria Police

1 May, 2020

0825 hours

Ballarat Police are continuing to crack down on opportunistic home and car thieves, with a number of recent arrests in relation to these offences.

Members from the Ballarat Investigation and Response Teams and front-line officers arrested three people earlier this week in relation to an aggravated burglary which occurred in Trentham in the early hours of Monday morning.

It is alleged a set of car keys found inside the home were taken before the offenders fled the scene in a stolen car, followed by another vehicle allegedly connected to the incident.

Both vehicles were observed by police a short time later, before one of the vehicles attempted to ram the police car.

A 15 year old female from Ballarat, a 19 year old male from Ballarat and an 18 year old male from Bullarto were arrested in connection to this incident and charged with a range of offences including aggravated burglary, theft of motor vehicle, as well as conduct charges relating to the ramming of a police vehicle.

All three have been remanded in custody and will reappear in the Ballarat Magistrates Court at a later date.

Detective Inspector Greg Payne said the recent arrests were in line with an increase in the number of residential burglaries and car thefts occurring in the Ballarat and Moorabool Police Service Areas recently.

“While the advice to all Victorians has been to stay home as much as possible unless leaving for essential reasons, that message has not heeded by opportunistic thieves as we have continued to see a rise in the number of residential burglaries and car thefts occurring in the community.

“While any rise of this nature is concerning, we want to reassure the community these issues remain a top priority for your local police.

“We continue to task our officers to proactively patrol known hotspots and are arresting offenders on a daily basis.

“Car thieves will often seize an opportunity to sneak in and steal car keys when they are left on display near an open window or unlocked door which is what we saw occur in Trentham earlier in the week.

“These types of offenders want to get in and out of the property as quickly as possible to avoid being caught or confronted.

“They are opportunistic and will often look for keys and other easy items to steal in the kitchen and living area, but they also tend to minimize their time spent in the home.

“That is why it’s so important that everyone takes a few simple steps to reduce the risk of becoming a victim of vehicle-related theft.

“Now more than ever it’s important that we don’t become complacent about home and vehicle security.

“There are a lot more people spending time at home at the moment due to the coronavirus pandemic and we do not want them to become the victim of opportunistic theft.

“Police will continue to work hard in the Ballarat and Moorabool communities to apprehend burglars and car thieves, but we also ask everyone to take a few simple steps to reduce the risk of becoming a victim of vehicle-related theft:

Always store car keys out of view and away from external doors and windows.

Make sure you have your keys with you at all times. This includes times when you are out and you’ve left your car at home.

When you are out do not leave car keys unattended in bags, lockers etc.

Don’t tag your car keys with your name or address. Use a mobile phone number instead.

Never leave a spare set of house keys or car keys in your car.

Make sure your home is secured so that thieves can’t steal your car keys. This includes:

Installing good quality locks on doors and windows.

Lock all windows and doors, even when you’re at home – unlocked side and rear doors are the most common entry points for burglars.

Remove valuable items from plain sight – particularly car keys, wallets, electronic devices and cash.

If you need immediate police assistance always call Triple Zero (000). Report any suspicious behaviour to your local police station or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

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