Ballarat police have made three arrests after executing a number of warrants in a crackdown on vehicle crime this morning.
A number of raids were conducted in Wendouree, Redan and Sebastopol on Thursday as part of Operation Silver Thunder.
Two males and a female were arrested: a 51-year-old Ballarat Central man, a 45-year-old Alfredton man and a 21-year-old Sebastopol woman.
They are expected to be charged with a range of offences including multiple counts of theft of motor vehicle as well as drug offences, driving when directed to stop and making threats to kill.
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In addition to the arrests, police also used Automated Number Plate Recognition technology to check over 300 vehicles, detecting several unregistered vehicles and an unlicensed driver who will be charged on summons. One vehicle was impounded.
Ballarat Highway Patrol is expected to hit the streets again tonight targetting vehicle crime.
The crackdown comes after a surge in car thefts in recent months.
The majority of incidents have been as a result of an unlocked property or vehicle, with no sign of forced entry, police say.
Ballarat CIU Detective Senior Sergeant Tim Argall said people needed to be careful to protect themselves from such crime, but that police would still catch criminals when they did occur.
"People often consider these types of crimes to be victimless, but they are not," he said.
"There is a great deal of difficulty and inconvenience after someone's car, number plate or wallet is stolen.
"We also know a stolen car can often lead to more violent offences such as aggravated burglaries, ram raids, pursuits and evading police which is why we are committed to tracking down these offenders and holding them to account.
"Ballarat police will continue to focus on reducing vehicle crime in the community to ensure people and their property is safe. We also ask that you help us help you by locking your car at all times - even when parking at home in the driveway or garage - and making sure your home is secured to that thieves can't steal your car keys."
The community is encouraged to report suspicious behaviour or information to Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or submit a confidential report at www.crimestoppersvic.com.au
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