Figures reveal one third of vehicles broken into were left unlocked

Gardaí say more than 8,500 cars in residential areas were broken into between 2015 and 2017

Figures reveal one third of vehicles broken into were left unlocked

File photo. Image: RollingNews.ie

Gardai say people are making it too easy for burglars to rob their cars, as new stats reveal that around a third of vehicles broken into in Ireland were unlocked.

8,571 vehicles parked at homes were broken into between 2015 and 2017, and 2,824 of those were reported to be unlocked.

The Garda figures show that the most common location for such thefts was in driveways between 12 midnight and 7am.

An average of €340,000 worth of property was stolen from vehicles each year.

The most common items taken were jewellery, cash, laptops, tools and sunglasses.

Sergeant Kelvin Courtney says it’s a crime that’s easily avoidable.

He said: "Just like we remind people to lock their front doors and their windows, we're asking them to lock their car doors and windows.

"We're just making it too easy for the car thief to take property from our cars. We're not even putting up a fight. There's things we can do... we can add physical security to stop the thief from taking stuff from our cars."

He flagged possible extra measures that can be installed, such as additional locking systems.

Sgt Courtney added: "Consider a monitored vehicle alarm and tracking devices for valuable property. Reduce the payoff to the thief by marking and photographing the property and take a record of serial numbers, makes and models." 

Gardaí are also warning people to avoid leaving keys on the hall table or near doors or windows where they can be easily taken.