London, May 18 (ANI): Australian motorists who fail to lock their cars are not only being targeted by thieves, but also being fined by the police.
Officers in the Yarra Ranges north east of Melbourne have warned careless car owners that they will be fined 358 dollars (216 pounds) if they don't properly secure their vehicles.
The move has come as an initiative to slow the increasing number of car break-ins.
Almost 40 per cent of those thefts last year were from unlocked cars, police have estimated. Valuables stolen from cars include laptops, wallets, satellite navigation systems, cash and bags.
Leading Senior-Constable Graeme Rust, from the Yarra Ranges traffic management unit said that continual warnings were being ignored by the town dwellers, and so the police were forced to use a Road Safety law passed by the Victorian state government, which allows the authorities to levy a fine on unattended unlocked vehicles.
"Did you know that if you do not switch the engine off, apply the hand brake, close the windows and lock your car you could be fined?," The Telegraph quoted Rust as saying.
"I urge everyone to look to see that valuables are removed or out of sight and make sure your car is locked before leaving it unattended."
However, the move hasn't gone down well with the locals.
"Great country we live in. Make a simple mistake and if the crimes don't make a victim of you the cops will do it for them," said Peter Roehlen, a local. (ANI)