31 March 2011

Police warning: Ipswich building sites hit by raiders

POLICE are warning Ipswich residents that thieves are targeting white goods and valuable materials from flood-damaged homes and new housing estates.

Paul Andrews and Nadine Webster say thieves are targeting building sites.

POLICE are warning Ipswich residents that thieves are targeting white goods and valuable materials like roofing iron, copper and timber from flood-damaged homes and new housing estates.

Ipswich police are targeting such building sites and areas being rebuilt after the floods, but are calling on residents to be extra vigilant to help their efforts.

Ipswich District crime prevention co-ordinator Sergeant Nadine Webster said the warning came after several recent thefts.

"It seems to be building sites that are being targeted, and it is across the whole Ipswich district," Sgt Webster said.

"The opportunities are presenting themselves because people aren't living there at the time."

She said people could take some simple steps to make it harder for would-be thieves. With the co-operation of community members giving early tip-offs, Sgt Webster said several successful prosecutions had been made.

"People should make sure their white goods aren't installed until the residence is at a lock-up stage," she said.

"Also, be aware and contact police if you see work vehicles outside of work hours at building sites."

Ipswich police are also investigating some incidents where vehicles have been broken into or stolen.

Sgt Webster said tips to help prevent thieves breaking into your vehicle included parking your vehicle in a garage, car port or within the perimeter of your premises, making sure the doors were locked and windows shut.

Other suggestions include parking in an area that is well lit, secure or has security cameras, and installing an engine immobiliser, vehicle security system, steering lock, ignition shields and battery isolators.

Removing all valuables, including navigation devices, and putting the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) onto the window and glass of a car is also recommended by police.

For more information phone the unit on 3817 1351.

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