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Residents, police disagree with home theft report findings

AFTER being named in the top three postcodes for reported home theft in south-west Queensland, the residents of Amiens, Pozieres and the Stanthorpe police believe the call is unwarranted.

Research conducted by RACQ Insurance found the postcode 4352 fell into the worst suburbs for home theft, with 0.2 claims per 100 policies held in the area.

The postcode covers an abnormally large region, stretching to the northern suburbs of Toowoomba, west of Warwick and as far south as Lyra.

Acting officer in charge of Stanthorpe police Senior Sergeant Shane Gleeson said he was shocked to hear of the figures.

"I can't think of any incidents in Amiens or's not like we get a great deal of calls out there," Snr Sgt Gleeson said.

Amiens resident Connie Ricca said she hasn't heard of anyone in the area being broken in to.

"I certainly haven't heard of anything in my circle of friends, but it could be happening," she said.

Snr Sgt Gleeson said the police tend to deal more with theft from temporary backpacker accommodation being left unlocked. But he did admit home thefts were on the rise in the region.

"It's the sort of thing that's starting to happen more and is progressively moving further out in to regional areas," he said.

"It's important for people to remember to lock their front doors when they're out the back hanging up the washing, or to lock the back door when you're spending time out the front."

RACQ Executive Manager - Insurance Communications Mike Sopinski said the research shows a relatively low level of property crime but said it indicated thieves are still operating in those areas.

"I will certainly acknowledge that 4352 is a large geographic area but we have had some home insurance claims," Mr Sopinski said.

"The scary thing about our research has indicated that home intrusions or sneak raids on properties are increasing.

"It shows some 39% of break and enters across Queensland occur when residences are occupied."

Mr Sopinski said thieves are targeting houses when people are home because there is likely to be items such as car keys, cash and jewellery in the house.

"If you're at home, don't automatically assume your property is safe from theft," he said.

Stanthorpe Border Post

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