A 24-year-old man from Usher has been charged with burglary and stealing after a break-in at Bunbury Auto Wreckers on Saturday night.
The burglary was one of a number across Bunbury in the past fortnight with non-residential buildings proving a popular target.
Other businesses to be targeted include Halifax Lunch Supply, JB Hi-Fi, Retravision, SportsPower Bunbury, Dankz Furniture and the Bunbury Mail.
Bunbury Police officer-in-charge Senior Sergeant Mal Jones said the man was arrested on Monday with inquiries continuing into the other offences and other individuals that may be involved.
The recent offences add to a reported rise in non-dwelling burglaries in the South West police district.
In the June quarter of 2015, 58 non-dwelling burglaries were reported in Bunbury. This number rose to 102 in the June quarter of 2016.
South West Police Inspector Peter Morrissey said industrial areas are essentially unoccupied after hours and therefore present as a perceived easier target to criminals.
“It is apparent that the main driver for all volume crime, including burglary and theft, is the use of methamphetamine and other illicit drugs,” he said.
Inspector Morrissey said the ability for the public to notify police of these crimes online or over the phone may have resulted in an increase in the number of reported offences.
“The South West police district targets all volume crime offences with a number of operations undertaken and continuing,” he said.
“WA Police also provide crime prevention advice to burglarly victims and undertake target patrols of known crime areas.”
South West MLC Adele Farina said the increase in break-ins has a significant cost to businesses with some smaller local outfits finding the cost to be crippling.
“If we are to truly tackle increasing crime in our community, more needs to be done to identify the causes and to deliver targeted and effective preventative strategies – including a residential drug and alcohol rehabilitation facility in the South West,” she said.
“Our police are doing the best they can and must be congratulated for their efforts but it is clear more resources are needed to address the increase in these crimes.”
Inspector Morrissey said the best methods of burglary prevention and reduction are;
He also said in the event of a burgalary, preserve any areas that may have been subject to an offence for a forensic examination.
Anyone with information about the ongoing spate of burglaries is asked to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.
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