Police issue car and home security warning

Opportunist thieves will make the most of open or unsecured doors and windows during hot weather, householders are being warned.

Police Scotland’s Tayside Division is driving home the importance of home and car security, emphasising that opportunist thieves will regard these as “a ready invitation.”

The warning came after a red Nintendo 3DS games console, Nintendo DS and a blue iPod Nano were taken from a black Vauxhall Meriva last week while it was parked in Westfield Drive.

A force spokesman said: “It’s essential that car owners take the time and effort to protect their property against crime. Removing all valuables from the car when it is parked up at the end of the day should be second nature. Drivers should also make doubly sure that the car is left locked and secure.

“Being parked outside the family home, or in a driveway, is no deterrent to an opportunistic thief if they see valuables in the vehicle, or test the door handle to discover the car is unlocked. Very few cars nowadays are locked manually, with most being locked remotely. Drivers should double check their doors to ensure that they haven’t inadvertently ‘double-clicked’ the fob remote, or pressed the wrong button and their car is secure. They should also ensure that windows are fully closed.”

The spokesman added that home security is vital including any garages, sheds and outbuildings and that, given the valuable property that is stored at the average home, it is vital to take the security of outbuildings as seriously as the domestic property.

He said: “Please don’t make it easy for the thief by leaving doors and windows open. If you are out in the garden, ensure all vulnerable door and windows are locked. If you can, lock windows on the vent setting to allow in some fresh air.

“Only open windows of the room you are in and ensure all vulnerable door and windows are locked and only open windows of occupied rooms and do not leave valuables in clear view, or easy to reach places.

“Garages, sheds and outbuildings as well as homes should be secured and people should also report any suspicious activity in their neighbourhood. Ensure all vulnerable door and windows are locked and only open windows of occupied rooms.”

“If you are at home at night, lock the front and back doors - it is all too easy to be distracted by what’s on the telly and opportunist thieves will look upon an unlocked door as an open invitation. Make absolutely certain you have locked up before you go to bed at night.”

Anyone with information that they think may be useful to the police in relation to any incidents should contact Police Scotland on 101 or alternatively the charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Further advice about home security, locks and procedures is available from crime prevention officers at local police offices.