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Car Theft at Coastal Locations - The Statistics

8th July 2021

Cars parked at coastal and other outdoor locations are at most risk of being broken into on weekend afternoons during summer months, the Garda Siochána says.

Catalytic converters, cash, electronics, jewellery and tools were the items most targeted, and the average value of property stolen per incident was €660.

An average of €330 of cash was taken per incident, the Garda Press Office has said.

Just over €36 million in value was stolen from vehicles between 2016 and 2020.

Although theft from cars fell by 20 per cent last year, some 60 per cent of all thefts were from locations associated with outdoor activities during the summer.

The force has said that weekends between 2 pm and 7 pm appear to be the most likely time for thefts to occur.

Garda crime prevention officer Sgt Ber Leetch said that while overall theft from car incidents has reduced in the last 12 months, the relaxation of Covid-19 restrictions would see "increased opportunities for criminals to take advantage" during home holidays.

"If you are travelling with your car to coastal and scenic areas this summer, plan your journey before you go. Check online if the location has a website or app with safety tips for visitors," he advised.

"Leave the expensive property at home if not required. Choose well serviced and well-lit car parks where possible. Avoid car parks with signs of public disorder or criminal damage, such as broken glass. Park legally, do not obstruct vehicles or entrances," he said.

Items like handbags, jackets, wallets, laptops, and shopping should never be left on view in the vehicle, he said.

"A good idea is to leave an empty glove box open, showing would-be criminals that there is nothing for them to steal," he said.

"As you leave double-check that your doors and windows are locked. Don’t be tempted to leave the windows slightly open. If you are the victim of a crime or if you see any suspicious activity call 999 or 112 and report it, "Sgt Leetch said.

Published in Coastal Notes
Lorna Siggins

About The Author

Lorna Siggins

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Lorna Siggins is a print and radio reporter, and a former Irish Times western correspondent. She is the author of Everest Callling (1994) on the first Irish Everest expedition; Mayday! Mayday! (2004) on Irish helicopter search and rescue; and Once Upon a Time in the West: the Corrib gas controversy (2010).

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Coastal Notes Coastal Notes covers a broad spectrum of stories, events and developments in which some can be quirky and local in nature, while other stories are of national importance and are on-going, but whatever they are about, they need to be told.

Stories can be diverse and they can be influential, albeit some are more subtle than others in nature, while other events can be immediately felt. No more so felt, is firstly to those living along the coastal rim and rural isolated communities. Here the impact poses is increased to those directly linked with the sea, where daily lives are made from earning an income ashore and within coastal waters.

The topics in Coastal Notes can also be about the rare finding of sea-life creatures, a historic shipwreck lost to the passage of time and which has yet many a secret to tell. A trawler's net caught hauling more than fish but cannon balls dating to the Napoleonic era.

Also focusing the attention of Coastal Notes, are the maritime museums which are of national importance to maintaining access and knowledge of historical exhibits for future generations.

Equally to keep an eye on the present day, with activities of existing and planned projects in the pipeline from the wind and wave renewables sector and those of the energy exploration industry.

In addition Coastal Notes has many more angles to cover, be it the weekend boat leisure user taking a sedate cruise off a long straight beach on the coast beach and making a friend with a feathered companion along the way.

In complete contrast is to those who harvest the sea, using small boats based in harbours where infrastructure and safety poses an issue, before they set off to ply their trade at the foot of our highest sea cliffs along the rugged wild western seaboard.

It's all there, as Coastal Notes tells the stories that are arguably as varied to the environment from which they came from and indeed which shape people's interaction with the surrounding environment that is the natural world and our relationship with the sea.

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