Kids as a young as 10 years old are roaming Tamworth streets late at night prompting warnings from police for parents to know where their children are.
In the wake of an increase in car break-ins in the area, senior police from the Oxley Local Area Command say they have information that young people are casing out cars in suburban streets with 79 break-ins reported last month.
Out of those reports, half of the break-ins involved unlocked cars.
The statistics prompted a warning from Oxley Local Area Command crime manager, Chief Inspector Phil O’Reilly for residents to lock up.
The statistics increased by 15 reports from September.
“The majority of those occurred in Tamworth,” Inspector O’Reilly told The Leader.
“Half of those reports in Tamworth had victims who left their vehicles unlocked.
“During the month of October, residential premises were the most prominent for steal from motor vehicle offences and not in any particular location.
“We have reports that groups of young males have been wandering the streets late at night and checking car doors and we have seen some video footage of that.
“Our message to the community is to ensure your vehicles are locked and to report any suspicious activity when it’s occurring.”
Inspector O’Reilly said police were proactively working to identify and apprehend suspects for property offences but it was important the community members reported crimes as soon as they occur.
He said property crime had also been linked to the local drug trade in which offenders on-sold items to make money to purchase drugs, or exchanged stolen goods for illicit substances.
As the weather warms up he also warned locals to lock up their homes with an increase of break-ins in the Oxley Command in October.
There were 53 break-ins to homes across the command last month and 46 of those happened in Tamworth.
“I remind community members to be mindful of security to their properties,” he said.
“We have suspects that we target through other means and we request that forensic examinations take place at crime scenes to obtain evidence that may be matched to a person already known to us.”
“The likelihood of recovery of (stolen) property is enhanced if victims have a record of serial numbers of their items.”