Garda Chief Superintendent Mick McGarry has urged people to take more care in locking up their property, with a huge rise in thefts from cars recorded this year.
“People have to cop on. Most of the thefts from cars are from those that have been left open,” he told the Joint Policing Committee.
“We have to take certain precautions.Even a lot of burglaries are taking place with no break-ins. Windows are left open, people are out cutting the grass.”
Meanwhile, crime involving the theft of diesel oil – including people driving away from filling stations without paying – and of machinery and metals has also risen dramatically this year.
There is a 60% increase in this type of crime in the Kilkenny district, with 201 incidents recorded already this year, compared to 126 for the same period in 2012. In the Thomastown area, there is a 3% rise.
Chief Supt McGarry says that retailers think they are safe with cameras, but criminals are using stolen number plates. Cllr Fidelis Doherty has suggested a move to prepay systems.
“I only know of one petrol station that you have to prepay for the fuel,” she said.
“To me, that makes common sense. Businesses can to some extent help themselves if the technology is there.”