WESTPORT’S Garda Chief, Inspector Joe McKenna, has warned people to be extra vigilant and careful about the security of their properties and their belongings over the festive season.
Speaking just before Christmas at a Joint Policing Committee meeting he said there has been an upsurge, over the last two years, in the theft of home-heating oil and urged people to buy heavy-duty locks for their tanks.
“As well as advising people to buy locks, I would advise them to install sensor lights over these tanks and to also put secure fencing around them,” Insp McKenna said.
He also highlighted the upsurge in thefts from cars.
“Be paranoid,” he said. “When you are shopping do not leave handbags or purchases in the back seat. Do not leave laptops visible in your cars; if they are stolen it is not just the value of the computer, it is all the files you may lose also. ”
Insp McKenna also urged shoppers to park their cars in positions where there was public lighting and not in dark corners. He revealed that while the incidents of crimes had reduced in Westport over the last three months, people should remain careful.
Inspector McKenna added that a reduced rate of crime should in no way lead to complacency. Thieves could target homes or areas at any time and everyone should be on their guard.