MOTORISTS should leave their car glove- boxes and centre consoles open and remove valuables at night to avoid thefts, Albury police said yesterday.
Phones, GPS units and cash left in cars have been favourites in several thefts in recent weeks on both sides of the border.
Albury chief inspector Kim Sorensen said the thieves usually broke into as many cars as they could in the same area.
“You need to protect yourself from them,” he said.
“If you remove all valuables and don’t leave anything in sight, you make it a lot harder for light-fingered people to break into your car.
“Above all else, make sure that you have removed the keys from your vehicle.
“The main mistakes people make is to not lock their cars, leave things like latops and wallets in clear sight, and leave cash in the centre consoles.
“It just makes it an open invitation for crooks to break into cars.”
Police said leaving gloveboxes and centre consoles open showed “there is nothing of value left in a car”.
Wodonga police recently charged three teenagers with theft from cars after a spate of break-ins and tyre slashings.
Detective Acting Sgt Ian Deverell said officers were confident they would make more arrests over the six break-ins and two tyre slashings, in West Wodonga.
Sen-Constable Tim Mooney said the best way to avoid such incidents was to keep cars in a garage where possible.
“People in better areas think that it doesn’t happen to them, but it does,” he said.
“What we’ve found recently is that the thieves are just after coins.
“If you get a few cars, it starts to mount up.
“They’ll gain entry to your car.”
Sen-Constable Mooney said it was rare for cash stolen from cars to be recovered.
“It usually gets spent on alcohol, drugs and cigarettes,” he said.
“A few electrical items do get recovered, but most of the stuff stolen just disappears.”