€21k in property and cash stolen from parked cars every single day
A staggering €21,000 in property and cash is stolen from parked cars in Ireland every single day.
The revelation comes as gardai said that the festive season represents the greatest period of activity for robbers who specialise in breaking into parked cars.
The latest garda statistics indicate that €6.6m in property was taken over the past 12 months from unlocked cars or vehicles which had windows or door locks broken.
A further €1m in cash was also taken during the same thefts.
On average, €21,000 is stolen from Irish cars every day - and each robbery involves roughly €220 worth of cash and property being taken.
Incredibly, despite the advances in vehicle security systems and repeated garda safety warnings, 25pc of cars left parked outside Irish homes are unlocked.
A detailed analysis of robberies revealed that 33pc involved cars having their windows broken after thieves spotted property or cash sitting on the seats or floor of the vehicle.
A geographic analysis of the crimes revealed that cars are most vulnerable in Dublin, where it appears that several gangs specialise in breaking into parked vehicles.
Roughly 50pc of thefts occur over Friday and Saturday nights.
Gardai are now urging motorists to take extra precautions when parking their vehicles.
They are also hoping that motorist several simple rules.
Sergeant Kevin Courtney of the National Garda Crime Prevention Unit said drivers can dramatically reduce the risk of such thefts.
"The advice is to never, ever leave valuables inside a parked car," he said.
"Always take any valuable items with you and check that all doors and windows are secured when you leave the vehicle."
Gardai advised motorists to try and avoid parking in unlit, isolated areas; to never leave any property, no matter how incidental its cost, in clear view on a car seat or floor and, if possible, to park cars on well-used roadways near CCTV security cameras.
Among the most items most frequently targeted in car robberies are mobile phones, where people park for a short time and neglect to take their phone with them.