Patrols step up: rise in theft

Swan Hill police have stepped up patrols in response to a string of alleged thefts in the local area.

Senior Sergeant Brad Bennett told The Guardian police are "pursuing a number of avenues of inquiry, including some suspects". 

Swan Hill police Senior Sergeant Brad Bennett has urged residents to lock their vehicles and homes after a recent rise in theft. Picture: PETER BANNAN

Swan Hill police Senior Sergeant Brad Bennett has urged residents to lock their vehicles and homes after a recent rise in theft. Picture: PETER BANNAN

A total of 10 incidents of theft have been reported to police since July 13. 

Reports range from theft from motor vehicles to break and enter at various churches and burglary of local residences. 

Snr-Sgt Bennett said police are working hard to apprehend the offenders responsible. 

"It's something we are working on, we have suspects and the investigation is ongoing," he said. 

"There is no pattern to the thefts, they are happening generally across the community but we have some strategies in place and hopefully we will have an arrest fairly soon."

Snr-Sgt Bennett said there was no evidence to suggest the offenders responsible for the theft from vehicles were the same responsible for breaking into homes or churches. 

He also confirmed two females had been chased away from a motor vehicle on Rutherford Street on the morning on Tuesday, July 17. 

"We have stepped up our patrols all around the community, especially at night," he said. 

"We have plain clothed police officers, unmarked and marked vehicles patrolling the streets so there are certainly measures in place." 

Snr-Sgt Bennett urged residents to ensure their homes and cars are secure to avoid falling victim to offenders. 

"Again, they have to lock their vehicles and make sure anything of value is not left inside," he said. 

"Certainly their houses, they need to make sure doors and locked and the premises are secure." 

Snr-Sgt Bennett said a few of the homes targeted had been unlocked at the time of the offence. 

"It is disappointing things have to be this way, but the reality is we have to take a but more care," he said. 

He said there is no clear reason as to what triggered the string of thefts in the area. 

"We don't have any special reason or anything to suggest why these thefts have started up, sometimes things just coincide with school holidays or festivals, sometimes they just happen," he said.

Swan Hill residents can also expect to receive a letter drop from Neighbourhood Watch with information on locking their vehicles, homes and general security. 

Anyone who has witnessed any suspicious behaviour or who has any information relating to thefts in the area are urged to contact the Swan Hill Police Station on 5036 1600 or to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000. 

Four-day thefts spree across Swan Hill:

July 13 - registration plates stolen from a vehicle parked off Karinie Street, Swan Hill. 

July 14 - offenders stole an Engel fridge from from a property along Sea Lake-Swan Hill Road, Swan Hill.

July 15 - offenders forced entry to an unoccupied home on Donald-Swan Hill Road, Swan Hill.

July 15 - offenders forced entry to a church in Beveridge Street, Swan Hill. 

July 15/July 16 - offenders forced entry to a Splatt Street church in Swan Hill. 

July 16 - offenders gained entry to a parked vehicle on Boys Street, Swan Hill. 

July 16 - offenders gained entry to a vehicle in a car park off Beveridge Street, Swan Hill. 

July 16 - offenders gained entry to an unlocked vehicle parked off Stradbroke Avenue, Swan Hill. 

July 17 - offenders forced entry to a shed at a sporting complex along Sea Lake-Swan Hill Road, Swan Hill. 

July 17 - two females were disturbed stealing from vehicles parked off Rutherford Street, Swan Hill. 

More in Friday's edition of The Guardian (July 27, 2018).  

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