Lower Mountains residents have been warned to be vigilant about home security following a rise in break-ins while occupants are asleep.
Blue Mountains Local Area Command crime co-ordinator Sergeant Kylie Pettit said there had been an increase in aggravated break and enter offences — or incidents where thieves break in while people are at home asleep — in the Lower Mountains in March.
“Offenders come in in the late to early hours knowing full well your handbag with your iPhone or iPod and car keys, which are not there during the day, will be there,” she said.
“Two people have been arrested so far with offences relating to these crimes and our investigation is one that involves multiple resources, including resources from across the North West Metropolitan Region, which have assisted.
“Investigations are ongoing and we have been very pro-active at the local level in tasking our car crews covering those specific areas.”
A few simple actions by residents could help ensure there were fewer victims in the future, Sergeant Pettit said.
“People have to be vigilant about their safety and security,” she said.
“Things like making sure sensor lights are working and doors, windows and cars are locked [is very important]. Take any valuables out of the car and put them inside.
“Most importantly, residents should report suspicious activity straight away, don’t wait for a few days.
“We want things reported, we want the community to be our eyes and ears and report things they think are suspicious.”
Blue Mountains Mayor Daniel Myles and Deputy Mayor Mark Greenhill were approached by a Ward 4 resident over the issue after thieves broke into her home while her family slept and stole valuable goods.
While some items were recovered, the incident has left the family in shock, and both councillors have now reinforced the police message.
“Residents need to be extra vigilant with home security,” Clr Myles said.
“Residents need to lock with a key their doors and windows, particularly glass sliding doors.”
Clr Greenhill said a local business leader had alerted him to other similar events in parts of Ward 4.
“While the reports we have had relate to the Ward 4 area we think everyone should be careful,” he said.
“It’s really sad to say this but the era of Mountains residents being able to leave their doors and windows unlocked is probably over.
“Our major concern is just to do all we can to draw people’s attention to the need to take the necessary steps to protect their property and family.
“Clr Myles and I are very concerned about what would happen if a community member awoke to find someone in their home, and we strongly urge people not to take the law into their own hands because we would hate to see a resident harmed.”