WARRANDYTE police and Manningham Crime Investigation Unit (CIU) are urging residents to be on the lookout for suspicious activity after several houses in Warrandyte were been broken into last month.
Detective senior sergeant Matt Volk from Manningham CIU says thieves from a specific crime syndicate have made off with $4 million worth of goods from 28 burglaries and there has been a huge spike in burglaries in the area over the past few months.
The break-ins generally happened during evenings between Thursdays and Sundays from 5pm-10pm. Houses in St Muir Drive, Oakland Drive and Pamela Court were targeted and significant amounts of cash and jewellery were stolen. The Warrandyte Cafe was reportedly broken into over the Queen’s Birthday Weekend as the Diary went to print.
These burglaries form part of a larger series with houses in Donvale also being targeted by thieves. Affluent properties are the specific focus of the thieves and in at least one particular case a resident was downstairs in her house while the intruders ransacked upstairs, making off with jewellery and irreplaceable family heirlooms.
A common tactic of the thieves is to come knocking on the door and asking for a stranger who does not live at the residence.
Recording descriptions of these people, including vehicle types and registrations, is helpful to police, and of most benefit when the information is reported at the time.
At a press conference held on May 26, Det Snr Sgt Matt Volk said “we’re urging the community to come forward if you see anything suspicious call 000 immediately”.
Police have stepped up patrols in the areas but need the residents of Warrandyte to be alert to any suspicious activity.
Police urge all residents to communicate with their neighbours and start a dialogue so that anything out of the ordinary can be quickly identified and the police called in for suspicious circumstances.
Police say many people are concerned about interfering or wrongly accusing people of a crime, however, the spate of burglaries has proven residents can never be too vigilant, so residents are asked to not hesitate in calling the police if something’s not quite right.
Meanwhile, some time overnight on May 28, a vehicle in Fossickers Way and another on Harris Gully Road had their side windows smashed and personal items, loose change and personal belongings were stolen.
Also, on at least three separate occasions in May, a red and black laundry bag containing soiled linen has been stolen from outside the medical centre on Yarra and Trezise streets.
Anyone with any information on these incidents is urged to call Crimestoppers on 1800 333 000 or Warrandyte Police on 9844 3231.