CAR dealership owners are coming together to come up with ideas to stop persistent thieves from stealing cars from Ballarat businesses.
Ballarat Motor Group was left reeling after the theft of four cars from its locked sheds and keys to more than six vehicles in July.
In July business owner Grant DeMamiel said it looked like thieves broke into a side door with an angle-grinder to open the shed.
A Peugeot 308, Subaru Forester, Nissan X-Trail and BMW 523i were stolen.
They are not the only victims. Kings Cars owner Peter King understands nearly every dealership and car rental store in Ballarat has had at least one car stolen in recent months. One owner has reported losing 20 vehicles in just six months.
Mr DeMamiel hopes the dealership meeting will send a message to criminals – their actions will not be tolerated.
“Since the July theft we’ve been left alone, but we have really bumped up our security,” Mr DeMamiel said.
“This morning we saw tyre marks in the paddock next to us – which is always a sign.
“We hope they stay away – but the cameras don’t seem to scare them.”
Mr DeMamiel said business owners needed to come together to share ideas and find out ways they could increase reporting of suspicious behaviour.
“Since we were robbed I always thought something like this had to be done,” Mr DeMamiel said.
“It’s the little things – like maybe having a website where we can report suspicious behaviour to.”
Mr Demamiel, like other business owners, has spent thousands on security since the break ins .
“I hope this is a wake up call to other business owners – they can spend $5000 on a security system or $50,000 on damage costs,” Mr DeMamiel said.
Car theft largely drove a 21.6 per cent property theft increase in 2015. The number of aggravated burglaries, 108 in 2015, has risen nearly 70 percent in just four years.
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