By Kath Gannaway
Police have stepped up patrols in Healesville with a spate of thefts numbering over two dozens from vehicles and sheds in recent weeks.
Three properties on Don Road were hit overnight on Tuesday 9 May, with a wallet, an iPod and jewellery among the items stolen.
The same household was targeted a couple of days later with the thieves returning to rifle through two cars on the property.
Most of the thefts have occurred along Badger Creek and Don Roads and in nearby Newgrove Road with police saying the offenders are targeting unlocked vehicles and tools in utility trays.
Police say it is possible the actual number of offences could be higher with some people not contacting police and others phoning in but not wanting to follow through with an official report.
Detective Sergeant Mick Duke from Yarra Ranges Criminal Investigation Unit (CIU) said the high incidence of theft was disturbing but also issued a word of advice cautioning people to stop making it easy for thieves.
“Don’t invite the crooks to steal from you,” he said.
He said with opportunistic thefts such as those in Healesville, the offenders would steal from a car or shed if they found it unlocked.
“Most times, they’ll go elsewhere if they find vehicles or buildings locked,” he said.
“If you have gates, lock them; if you have locks on your doors, lock them; if you have car locks, lock them.”
Leading Senior Constables Don Taylor and Rina Smit from the Yarra Ranges Crime Desk were in Healesville on Thursday gathering evidence from one of the Don Road crime scenes.
Leading Sen Const Taylor reiterated the ‘lock it’ warning, but also urged parents to be more aware of what their kids are doing.
“If they’re going out late at night, check on where they are and what they’re doing.
“It’s not always easy, but working out what your kids are doing and getting it sorted early is the best outcome,” he said.
In what police say are unrelated burglaries, thieves broke into three businesses and attempted to break into another in Yarra Glen on Monday, 8 May.
A bakery and cafe at the Yarra Glen shopping complex and a bakery in Bell Street were broken into between 10pm and 11pm with the offender targeting cash registers.
An attempt on another main street cafe was unsuccessful.
Police from the Eastern Region Crime Unit recently made arrests over a spate of burglaries in other parts of the shire including the Yarra Centre and Travel Junction in Yarra Junction in April, and the Sky High in Mount Dandenong in March.
DS Duke said a 34-year old Berwick man was remanded in custody in relation to 18 commercial burglary charges. A 23-year-old Endeavour Hills man and a 25-year-old Broadmeadows man also faced 18 charges, and were bailed.
Police are looking for a fourth male in relation to the same burglaries.
The four are believed to be responsible for a series of burglaries at larger commercial businesses and at Gardiners Run Golf Course in Lilydale and golf courses in other municipalities.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Lilydale CIU on 9739 2401, Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or make a confidential crime report at www.crimestoppersvic.com.au .