14th March 2016

Page 9

Car break-ins rise angers police Stephen Taylor steve@baysidenews.com.au FRANKSTON detectives are reeling in the wake of 53 night-time car breakins last week resulting in the loss of dozens of wallets, handbags and other valuables – all crimes, they say, that are easily prevented. Inside several cars were spare keys for the same cars or the owners’ homes, meaning the thieves were given ready access to even more booty. The robberies come on top of 43 car break-ins the previous week, which included the theft of 20 number plates. These will be used to shielding thieves as they perform drive-throughs on petrol stations, commit armed robberies and engage in assaults, with little chance of being identified. “There’s only so much we can do,” Detective Senior Sergeant Steve Fyffe said. “Only four of the 53 car breakins related to forced entry, so the others must have been unlocked. “It’s very frustrating when responsible guardianship goes out the window. “Wallets and handbags are being left in plain view when cars are parked outside overnight.” Detective Senior Constable Craig Goudie described the booming theftsfrom-cars figures as “a nightmare”. He said 80-90 per cent had been left unlocked, while a small number had had their windows smashed and were broken into when valuables were left in clear view. Handbags and wallets containing credit cards are especially sought after as thieves can swipe them – without being asked for PINs – for multiple purchases under $100. It is not unu-

Police patrol

Cars set alight A Carrum Downs man allegedly set fire to a car at Frankston station, 9.20am Wednesday. The flames quickly spread to three other cars causing substantial damage. They will all probably be written-off, police said. Detective Leading Senior Constable Richard Brown, of Frankston CIU, described the incident as a “random attack” in which the offender, 36, caught a bus to the station from Carrum Downs and wandered among cars parked in Fletcher Rd. He then threw petrol over one car and lit it. The man was charged with arson and causing criminal damage by fire. He appeared at Frankston Magistrates’ Court that day and was bailed to appear at the same court, 7 April.

Easy pickings: Youths investigate vehicles for valuables in a Frankston South street last week. They wear hoodies and carry rags to wipe off fingerprints.

sual for a stolen card to be used at four service stations overnight for petrol, cigarettes and drinks, before the owner reports the theft in the morning and puts a stop on it. While passenger sedans are favoured by thieves, so, too, are tradies’ utilities which are frequently scoured for tools. Even locked tool boxes are vulnerable, with several cut open by a hand-held grinder and their contests spirited away last week. Gangs of youths, in small groups, are being blamed for the thefts. After being dropped off at a central location, for example, in Langwarrin, they spread out as they wander up and down each side of the street, testing door handles –“dooring” – to see which cars are unlocked while scouting for valuables.

Youths spied on CCTV cameras were wearing hoodies and carrying rags to wipe their prints off doorhandles. Streets especially targeted in Langwarrin last week were North Gateway, Centre Rd, and Frankston-Cranbourne Rd. In Frankston, areas targeted were off Yuille and Clarendon streets and side streets near the cemetery. Most have easy access and egress with myriad courts running off each side. Many occurred on Friday 4 March, when residents reported hearing noises in their streets and in driveways. Detective Fyffe is appealing to residents to lock their cars and utes and to remove valuables and tools, especially overnight. “Too many residents are making it too easy for thieves,” he said.

Teenager robbed A TEENAGER, 19, walking along Belmont Court, Carrum Downs, 10pm, Saturday 27 February, was assaulted and robbed by a man who was a passenger in a black utility. Detective Senior Constable Marty O’Brien, of Frankston CIU, said the man got out and demanded the victim’s phone and wallet. In the ensuing scuffle, the victim was knocked to the ground and his phone stolen. The offender is Caucasian, 185cm tall, wearing a blue hoodie, and of medium build. Anyone with information should call Detective O’Brien, 9784 5555.

Punched, threatened A FRANKSTON man was punched and threatened with a baseball bat before being robbed, 8.40pm, Sunday 28 February. Detective Senior Constable

Marty O’Brien, of Frankston CIU, said the 48 year old was walking along Derna Cr when a red Holden Commodore with four men on board drove by and stopped. Two of the occupants got out – one carrying the bat. The other grappled the victim to the ground, stole his wallet, removed the cash and threw the wallet back at him. The man carrying the bat then punched the victim to the head. The pair got back in the car and drove off. The victim suffered minor injuries. One of the offenders was 190cm, tanned skin, wearing a dark coloured hoodie with white writing, dark tracksuit pants and blue runners. The other was wearing a dark coloured hoodie, dark blue tracksuit pants and white runners.

Stony Point line fatality A 19-year-old Frankston man died after being hit by the Stony Point train at the Hillcrest Rd, Frankston, level crossing, 7pm, Tuesday. All emergency services attended the scene. Two buses were brought in to ferry the 20 or so passengers to their stations.

Another bike death POLICE attended another fatal motorcycle accident – this time in Somerville – Tuesday night. The bike and a Ford utility collided head-on on FrankstonFlinders Rd about 8.30pm. The male rider, who was yet to be formally identified, died at the scene. The male driver of the utility received minor injuries and was taken to the Frankston hospital. As of Wednesday, 20 motorcyclists had died on Victorian roads. In total, the road toll is 65 compared to 50 at the same time last year.

Frankston Times 14 March 2016


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