Police warning on rise in thefts and criminal damages

Stawell police will increase patrols following a number of criminal damage and theft incidents near schools and sporting clubs in the town.

Sergeant Bill Alford said police were examining forensic evidence after a bicycle and sign stolen from Pleasant Creek Retirement Village on Thornfeldt Street overnight between January 7-8 were recovered.

“It seems to be petty criminal damages and thefts that people like to do when they are bored,” he said.

Acting Sergeant Eddie Malpas said police had issued a number of warnings to residents in the area to be aware of the behaviour.

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“We always encourage the installation of CCTV cameras, not only as a preventative measure, but also as a way to identify persons of interest in relation to such crimes,” he said.​

“Police also encourage residents to install sensor lights around the premises and if these are already installed, ensure they are operating correctly.”

Police were also investigating an incident at Stawell Farm Supplies after thieves broke into the business on January 6, stole gates and attempted to steal copper pipe.

Meanwhile the Country Fire Authority also investigated a suspicious fire, which took fire crews one hour to control near the Stawell abattoirs on January 5.

Acting Sergeant Malpas said there had been incidents of people leaving valuables in plain sight inside vehicles, on front porches or visible through the windows of the house.

“We ask that residents ensure all valuables are not only locked away and secure, but they remain out of sight,” he said.

Acting Sgt Malpas also warned residents to keep an eye on neighbouring houses and to report any suspicious behaviour, people and vehicles to the Stawell Police Station by calling 5358 8222 or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

“Often we hear that residents have seen or heard something suspicious however have felt unsure as to whether or not it warranted police attention,” he said.

“The smallest bit of information can be a piece of a larger puzzle that may help police identify an offender.”

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