Victoria Police say they are stepping up crime prevention efforts after a spike in thefts from vehicles in certain areas of the city.
They report an overall jump of 30 per cent through August 9, 2019, compared to the same time frame last year.
The rise is particularly acute in Rockland where reports of thefts from vehicles are up 236 per cent, from 11 in 2018 to 37 in 2019.
Other areas that are seeing large increases include Fairfield (114 per cent) and North Jubilee (118 per cent).
Burnside is also seeing a big jump in thefts from cars, with 205 so far in 2019 compared with 122 through August 9, 2018.
Downtown still sees the highest number of thefts from cars but it has dropped in 2019 with 238, down from 280 in 2018.
“Our belief is that many of these thefts from vehicles are being committed by a small group of prolific offenders,” said Chief Constable Del Manak.
“We are keeping the public updated on crime trends in their neighbourhoods so that they can work with us to reduce the likelihood of victimization. That’s why we are asking people to remove valuables from their vehicles to reduce the likelihood of these crimes occurring in the first place.”
VicPD say patrol officers continue to patrol areas where there are significant numbers of thefts, and Crime Watch Volunteers are out in those areas to remind people not to leave valuables in their vehicles.
A large number of the thefts happen after dark and VicPD say they are often crimes of opportunity, so ensuring all valuables are removed from your vehicle after 9 p.m. can help prevent the problem.