In the leafy suburb of Black Hill, a Friday night smash and grab has made one man's hospital stay for a quadruple heart bypass more difficult.
Ballarat man Alan Trevers was lying in a hospital bed when he received the call to say his new Izuzu truck had its windows smashed, with items including sunglasses stolen from the vehicle's storage compartments.
A friend of Mr Trevers who was looking after the property also had the windows of his Mercedes smashed, with the inside of the car ransacked. He said he didn't hear any noise from the theft during the early hours of the morning, and both cars were parked in the driveway of the Moola Street property.
"I'm feeling a little helpless," Mr Trevers said. "It makes you wonder, 'Did someone see me getting in the ambulance to go to hospital?'
"I was told (by police that the offenders) might have smashed the windows with their fists."
Ballarat police are now investigating the incident. It is still unknown if other thefts from cars took place in the area on Friday night.
Mr Trevers said he was concerned that these type of smash and grabs, as well as car thefts, were increasing in his area. He said a number of friends had reported their cars stolen, and it was clear the problem was "getting out of control".
Police have previously told The Courier that they are seeing an increase in vehicle-related crimes, including thefts from vehicles and the destruction of cars to remove any evidence.
Theft is Ballarat's most common crime, according to the Crime Statistics Agency, with at 3195.4 offences per 100,000 population. But the CSA reported in July this year this number is down from 3641.3 the previous year.
"Offenders are looking for small, valuable items left in cars that they can easily sell. There is an increase of on-street parking rather than in garages, so more cars are available than ever before," Superintendent Jenny Wilson said.