Police urge public to stay vigilant with influx of break ins
POLICE are urging the community to be security conscious following a marked increase in break and enters in Gatton during the last few months.
There have been 20 since the start of July across a mix of houses, rural residential properties, caravans, businesses and rural sheds.
During the course of the last financial year Gatton had approximately 90 break and enter offences overall.
About 50 per cent of the break and enters during the past three months have been solved and police anticipate further arrests.
Gatton Police Officer in Charge Senior Sergeant Rowland Browne said it appeared a number of unconnected people were responsible for the crimes.
"Gatton does not have a generally high break and enter rate," Snr Sgt Browne said.
"It does tend to be cyclical and go in peaks and troughs.
"In this instance it has been surprising because it involves separate unrelated groups, some local, some visiting opportunists.
"While there is no specific cause drug use is often connected, whether that be to steal to purchase drugs or poor decision making while affected by drugs."
Snr Sgt Browne said after offenders were caught the number of crimes would fall for a time, but being vigilant was important.
Thieves have recently targeted jewellery in homes, businesses have been targeted for scrap metal and backpackers have had cash, laptops and phones stolen.
If you are away from your house for a period of time, police advise having someone regularly check on the property.
Simply locking the front gate on a rural property is a good preventative measure.
"One long term unoccupied house was broken into several times with minor property stolen on each occasion. This has ceased since the front gate was well secured," Snr Sgt Browne said.
"If you have expensive jewellery or valuables do not advertise it and keep them somewhere secure and secret.
"The reality is that Gatton does not have a generally high crime rate however we wish to keep it that way. If you think you can help let us know it may be the piece which solves the puzzle."
Call local police or Crime Stoppers if you have any information that could lead to an arrest or if you notice anything suspicious.