Police urge beach drivers to lock up vehicles

THE scenery of the Cooloola Coast's holiday hot spot should have people feeling relaxed, but that is not excuse for becoming complacent when it comes to locking up vehicles.

Acting Senior Constable Debbie Wruck said a recent trip to Rainbow Beach and Tin Can Bay revealed a shocking number of drivers leaving everything from GPS units to cash in unlocked cars.

Acting Snr Cnst. Wruck undertook vehicle inspections while on the coast recently and said she was alarmed by the number of cars left unlocked.

She said one vehicle was left unattended with its windows down, doors open, a wallet on the dashboard, GPS in full view and even the keys in the ignition.

She said recent reports of possessions being stolen from cars in the region could be slashed if drivers used common sense.

"If you've got valuables (in the car) don't leave them in view," she said, saying the same thing went for campsites.

And she said the CBD was no safer from thieves, with $1000 from a handbag being stolen from the back seat of a car in Gympie recently.

She said on December 18 a car was left unattended with a handbag visible on the back seat. When the owners returned to the car they found the cash had been stolen from the bag.

The theft follows an incident in a CBD car park a couple of months ago when several unlocked parked company cars were entered with ease. Goods including cash were taken from numerous cars.

Acting Snr Const. Wruck said drivers were making it too easy for anyone with a wandering eye and sticky fingers.

But if the fear of theft isn't enough, perhaps it will serve drivers well to know leaving a car unlocked is a ticketable offence.

"You can get a ticket for leaving your car insecure," Acting Snr Cnst. Wruck said.

What's more, she said a ticket could be issued if unaccompanied children under 16 years old were left in a car while the keys were still in the ignition.

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