Recently ITC Facebook Fans have reported an increase in personal safety issues. In particular, purses being snatched in Lane Cove Plaza and in Woolworths. During the Christmas and School holiday period there seemed to more break-ins around the Lane Cove West. Recently thieves have been targeting Greenwich homes. It seems a good time for ITC to summarise the issues reported to us and to reiterate some safety tips.
Since January, incidents of purses being snatched in supermarkets has risen. The purse snatchers are getting even more brazen. They are not just snatching purses left in trolleys; they are reaching into unzipped bags and taking out wallets. A friend of ITC was in Woolworths last week, she had opened her bag to get out her phone and left her bag open, a very friendly Woolworth’s staff member asked her to zip up her bag. She explained that there had been an increase in reports of purses being taken out of bags.
Also, be careful when sipping coffee at one of our fine cafes. Do not leave your bag on the ground or in a chair next to you. Always have your bag in your line of site and in front of you.
Last week we reported that an elderly person withdrew some money from one of the Lane Cove Banks, she was followed and then pick pocketed.
Here are a few steps to ensure this does not happen to you.
- Immediately put the money in your purse or wallet before you leave the bank;
- Vary the time and date you go to the bank;
- Never carry large sums of money;
- Ensure that no one can observe you entering your PIN when using the ATM. To protect your PIN details;
- Cover your hand when entering your PIN at an ATM.
- Be discreet when withdrawing cash from an ATM.
- Do not continue the transaction if the person behind you is standing too close;
- Take a good look at the ATM before beginning your transaction. Criminals have been known to put their card reader on top of the terminal’s card reader to capture the information on any card inserted into it. If the machine looks different, or if you suspect that it has been tampered with or has a device protruding from it, do not use the ATM and notify your bank of the problem.
- Minimise the time spent at the ATM by having your card out and ready to use. If the ATM is in use, give the person using the terminal the privacy you would expect from others. Allow them to move away from the ATM before you approach the terminal.
- Do not count or display any money you receive from the ATM. Immediately put your money into your pocket or purse and count it later.
Break-Ins can occur whether your are at home or not. We were recently told by one ITC Fan that she was at home (in the back of the house). She heard an unusual noise and went to investigate it. She saw a man (in a hoodie) dragging her front porch furniture over to an open window. He saw her and fled. Always lock all doors and window (even if you are at home).
The recent break-ins in Greenwich all have a similar pattern. The perpetrators knock on the doors and break into the houses where no-one is home. If you are home and suspicious someone knocks on your door call North Shore Local Area Command: 02 9414 8499
It is also a good idea to install an alarm system. Security Sytems range from the simple (and less expensive) to Fort Knox-type security. In Lane Cove, the Mico Family run Alert Locks and Security. They have been servicing Lane Cove for over 30 years. You can find out more about them here.
Car Thefts and Break-Ins
Last year there was a spate of car break-ins. The most important thing to remember is to take all the valuables out of cars. Remember always to lock your car when it is unattended, remove GPS devices from the windscreen and wipe off suction marks, remove visible loose change from inside your car and use security devices such as steering wheel locks and immobilisers.
Recently a gang was targeting Audi drivers on the North Shore. Audi has a spare key in the glovebox; some drivers had not removed the key and their cars were being stolen. If you own an Audi, it is a good time to remember to remove that key. You can read more about it here.
Mail Box Theft
This is a perennial issue in Lane Cove. It is only going to get worse with the number of units being erected. Speak to your Body Corporate to ensure they have used strong locks on the letterboxes. It would be a good idea to get a security firm, like Alert, to check out how secure the letterboxes are.
Don’t underestimate the power of a Neighbour, let them know your movements and ask them to look out for you. In fact, share this blog with them!!
Please let us know if you are aware of any other incidents.
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