FOR Bryan Cairns his $500 insurance excess has become a regular expense while parking at Woodman Point, with his car being targeted by thieves eight times in the last decade.
Mr Cairns often visits the coast for early-morning walks along the beach, but he says the crime is getting so bad he can’t enjoy the scenery without worrying that his belongings will still be there when he gets back.
“Every week there is a car broken into or a car burnt out monthly, all the parking bays are black from the fire,” he told the Herald.
Mr Cairns is on a mission to get security cameras installed at the Point’s isolated car parks, but says he keeps getting pushed from department to department.
Woodman Point is controlled by the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions which acknowledges the theft is on the rise, but says that’s across most of Perth’s urban bushland.
“Most car break-ins and other crimes are reported to the WA Police force and in some cases, police will also notify DBCA,” the department said in response to the Herald’s questions.
“The department has introduced a number of measures aimed at reducing theft from vehicles at Woodman Point Regional Park.
“Theft risk signage, which encourages people to lock their cars, take valuables with them or store them out of sight, is in all car parks at Woodman Point.
“Vegetation around car parks has been removed to increase passive surveillance and discourage theft.
“The department will continue to investigate options to improve security at Woodman Point, including the installation of CCTV cameras.”
Mr Cairns says the signage hasn’t been much help; after being burnt so often he always hies valuables and locks the cars, but the thieves still break in.
“They took money hidden under candy and glasses which cost over one thousand dollars each and the excess on the car is five hundred dollars every time I get broken into and it doesn’t cover the contents of the car,” he said in exasperation.
Mr Cairns said he once spotted some crims making a get-away and took down details about the car and the perps, and the fact it had Queensland number plates, but still never heard back.
by HARRIET BURROWS
and STEVE GRANT