It takes less than 60 seconds to steal from a vehicle. Stealing is often a crime of opportunity, with thieves taking advantage of others’ carelessness or lack of attention. A classic example of this is people leaving valuable items like mobile phones, laptops, tablets, bags and cash on display in vehicles. This is a very common and costly issue faced by the community.

If you give thieves the opportunity, they will take it. So don’t give them that opportunity! Take your valuables with you or remove them from view inside your vehicle. Good personal security is an important habit to adopt.

Want to make your vehicle less attractive to thieves? Here are some ways of protecting your vehicle.

Avoid leaving any valuables, even loose change, inside your vehicle where a passerby can see them. What YOU see isn’t necessarily what a THIEF sees: YOU see a few coins – a THIEF sees an opportunity. If you must leave valuables in your vehicle - lock them in the car boot before arriving at your destination.

Lock your doors at all times, even while driving, and make sure all windows are up when leaving your vehicle.

Never leave your vehicle unattended with the keys in the ignition. Many vehicles are stolen from petrol stations, corner stores and driveways where the owner has left their vehicle - sometimes for less than 60 seconds.

Look around. Be aware of your surroundings, especially in parking lots, garages and petrol stations.

Park in a busy, well-lit area and use off-street parking where possible.

If your valuables have been stolen from your vehicle, or if you see suspicious behaviour, report it to police immediately on 131 444. You may be assisting to prevent another person from becoming a victim of crime.

Video provided care of South East Metro District Local Governments with the support of WA Police Force.