A victim of the latest of spike in thefts from cars, Horace Bevan is lucky to still have his prized possession, his guitar.
A victim of the latest of spike in thefts from cars, Horace Bevan is lucky to still have his prized possession, his guitar. Jay Cronan

Daylight robberies increase

A RELAXING swim at the beach cost Horace Bevan a whole lot more than he bargained for.

The Alstonville resident parked his car at Lennox Head, near Lake Ainsworth, on Easter Monday before going for a swim at the beach for about 30 minutes.

Mr Bevan came back to find his car window smashed, two mobile phones missing and $300 stolen.

He joins many other local residents and tourists who have fallen victim to a huge spike in thefts from motor vehicles in the region.

“I left my mobile in the console unattended, but you don’t really think anything of it,” Mr Bevan said.

“I was born and bred in the Northern Rivers and I grew up leaving my home unlocked.

“The funny thing was, I had my acoustic guitar in the back seat and they did not take that.

"They didn’t take the time to go shopping, they were quick operators.

“The window was smashed and it looked like a karate kick.”

Despite the theft of Mr Bevan’s property, including a new Blackberry phone, he was “bloody thankful” the thieves did not pinch his guitar.

“They obviously didn’t like music,” he said.

Mr Bevan reported the incident to police who are particularly concerned about the increasing number of car break-ins.

Police said a majority of thefts were happening between 12noon and 3pm on Monday to Wednesday in the coastal car parks at Ballina and Lennox Head.

But it was also happening in Casino, where 10 cars were broken into during one night last week at the Casino Village RV Resort.

Richmond crime manager Detective Inspector Matt Kehoe said it was “opportunistic crime”.

“We believe a small number of people have been involved in a number of offences across the command and are targeting coastal car parks.

“Many items are taken from unlocked cars so we are encouraging people to lock their cars and do up their windows.

"But some people are smashing the windows of vehicles to steal little more than a dollar or two in change,” he said.

“We have seen our numbers increase by about 40 % in regards to steal-from-motor-vehicle offences.”

People should take their valuables with them, avoid parking in dimly lit areas and not hide spare keys inside or under their cars.