Lane Cove Break and Enters Update December 2018

car break in

Over the last couple of weeks, ITC has received more reports, than usual, on Lane Cove Break and Enters.  This does not mean there is more crime, it just means people are letting ITC know about them.   This week we received reports of break and enters, or attempted break and enters, in Lane Cove West, Riverview, Lane Cove North and Greenwich.

This week a house was broken into in Riverview and personal items and a car was stolen.  It is common for intruders to enter houses for the sole purpose of finding keys and wallets.

Another Roving Reporter advised us that someone tried to break into their house in Riverview during daylight hours. The intruders found a ladder near the house and tried to access the top story windows. They must have been disturbed as the window was partly opened but they did not come inside.

Does Crime Increase over the Christmas/New Year Period?

ITC found it interesting that our last update on increased crime was in November 2017 in the Riverview Area.  This prompted ITC to research if crime increases in November/December.

In January 2018, the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research carried out an analysis of crime statistics for selected offences.  Their analysis showed the following:

There is an obvious spike in violent offences on New Year’s Eve between 9pm and midnight and early on New Year’s Day between midnight and 3am. The number of recorded incidents of violent offences between these times are more than nine times that of other days in the period. In addition, half of the violent offences on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day are recorded as occurring in the 6 hours between 9pm on New Year’s Eve and 3am on New Year’s Day. These spikes are likely due to higher levels of alcohol consumption and social interaction. In contrast, recorded violent offences are relatively stable around Christmas Day. The pattern for property offences is similar to that for violent offences. The incidence of property crime is generally steady over the period with the exception of an increase on New Year’s Eve and Day between 6pm on New Year’s Eve and 3am on New Year’s Day. There is also a small peak on Christmas Eve in the afternoon followed by a slight decrease over Christmas Day.

Crime Prevention Tips

In June 2018, the North Shore Police Command posted on their Facebook page that most break and enter incidents in the North Shore area were occurring through an unlocked Ground floor and 1st Floor open windows or doors.

Many of the Break and Enter incidents reported to ITC do involve access via an unlocked door and window.  It’s interesting to note that these incidents don’t necessarily happen because people have forgotten to lock up when they leave home, in many cases, residents are actually in the house at the time of the break-in.

Don’t get lulled into a false sense of security because you live in an upper-level apartment or you only leave the second-floor window open at your house.

Based on the types of break ins reported to ITC we have put together a list of crime prevention tips for Lane Cove Residents.

ITC’s Lane Cove Crime tips are as follows:

  • Before leaving home local all windows and doors (even upstairs windows);
  • Don’t leave your house unlocked while you’re at home;
  • Don’t leave your car key in your car;
  • Always tell your neighbours when you’re going away;
  • Always divert your mail when you’re going away;
  • Install Sensor Lights – ITC has been told about intruders fleeing after a sensor light is activated;
  • Don’t leave your car keys, wallets, iPad, iPhone and handbags by your door or in plain sight – this is an easy “grab and go” for intruders;
  • It is easy for an intruder to steal your car if they find your car keys near the front door or on a hall table in a very organised car key/key bowl;
  • Don’t let intruders know you have new and valuable items in your house. Break down new packaging and don’t have the boxes on show in your house;
  • Don’t leave ladders around your home where they can be used by thieves to access an unlocked second story window;
  • ITC has been advised of quite a few incidents where thieves have been able to remove louvres to gain entry.  Louvre windows are especially vulnerable because thieves can easily take the slats out of the frame. Fit a special louvre lock. Better still, replace them with fixed glass if the windows are easily accessible from the outside;
  • It’s also time to check if your screen doors are secure.  Many screen doors (particularly in older style apartments/houses are quite flimsy).  ITC received a report of an intruder cutting a flimsy screen door mesh, so they could unlock the screen door.
  • If possible, park your car in your driveway (and have sensor lights installed in your driveway);
  • Don’t leave Wheelie Bins under a window as they can be used to access an unlocked higher window;
  • Go outside and look at your home – is there a clean line of sight from the street? If not, trim bushes and trees which obscure your front door (that way neighbours can see any lurking intruders);
  • Be on the lookout for someone who is acting suspiciously, e.g. looking in windows/checking parked vehicles. Make a note of the person’s appearance, clothing, and call the police immediately. You can report any crime or suspicious activities anonymously. Call North Shore LAC on 9418 8499 (always call 000 if there is an emergency).
  • Invest in Security Cameras, the cost of security cameras has decreased lately. Speak to local experts Alert Locks and Security for some recommendations; and
  • Finally, make sure your street number is visible so that if anything does happen the police can easily find your home.

Motor Vehicle Thefts

Most people do not realise that the majority of motor vehicles thefts occur at the home, rather than in a car park or public place. Cars are usually stolen between 10.00 pm and 6.00 am. According to the following cars were stolen in the Lane Cove Council Area this year (as at July 2018)

Location Number of Car Thefts (July 2018) % Stolen From Home
Lane Cove 8 63%
Lane Cove North 12 33%
Lane Cove West 1 0%
Longueville 3 67%
Riverview 2 100%
Linley Point 1 100%
Greenwich 1 100%
Note (some of the vehicles listed as Lane Cove could have been from other areas of Lane Cove including the suburbs listed above)



Stolen Bikes

ITC has received several reports of stolen bikes this year.  They are usually stolen from garages in Apartment Blocks where the intruders can easily seek the bike. If you have a bike stolen, make sure you record it on the National Bike Stolen Bike Register.  We are aware of incidents where residents have had their bike returned because it was noted on the register.  Find out more here.

Mailbox Theft

Nearly half of Lane Cove residents live in Apartments.  Usually, apartments have letter boxes which are located in clusters at the entrance of the apartments.  These letter boxes can be easily accessed by non-residents and are becoming hotspots for undesirables to steal personal information for fraud and identity theft.  Mail theft and fraud cost the Australian community $2.2 billion each year.

Mailbox theft is a perennial issue in Lane Cove.  It is now becoming standard practice for new apartments to have their mailboxes installed inside secure areas with an individual lock and key for each apartment. However, there are many older style apartments where the mailboxes are flimsy, and it is easy to access with a skeleton key or the slot is big enough to allow a hand to fit through it.  If you live in an older style apartment block, ask your body corporate to upgrade your locks.

In the Cove was contacted by a resident of one apartment complex advising their mailboxes had been raided four times within a very short period.  As a result of this, cameras were installed.  They managed to capture a picture of the alleged mail thief.  A picture of the thief was posted near the mailboxes and they have not had any problems since then.

It’s not always apartment blocks that are targeted.  Austin Street mailboxes were ransacked this year.  Letters (that obviously did not have any valuables) were left all over the street.  Clear your mailbox daily.

Report Minor Crime Online

ITC receives a number of reports where we are alerted to an attempted break in.  The resident is advising ITC, so we can warn neighbours.  Even if something is not taken, we ask the resident to report the crime online so that statistics can be recorded, and this helps with police staffing levels.  Find out how to report minor online crime here.

Unusual Crimes Reported This Year to ITC

Armed Man Greenwich
Peeping Tom Arrested Riverview
Attempted Animal Cruelty Lane Cove North

In April 2018 the North Shore Police Command arrested and charged a male and a female who police will allege were part of a group committing break and enter offences across the North Shore. Read more here.

Be alert not alarmed and remember to look out for your neighbours and get to know your fellow Lane Cove Residents.

Do you have a local issue you would like help with? ITC is here to help just email us at [email protected]

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