ARARAT - Police are hoping specially designed sun shades will keep out more than just the sun this spring.
The Ararat station has about 200 sun shades for sale which are lined with the message "All valuables removed from this vehicle".
It is hoped they will serve as a warning to would-be thieves and a reminder to the public to remove or keep their valuables out of sight and lock their cars.
For just a gold coin donation people can pick up one of the sun shades from the Ararat Police station. All proceeds from the sale of the shades will go to charity.
The sun and heat protectors were designed as part of a joint initiative between police and the Rotary Club of Ararat as a new way to remind vehicle owners of their responsibilities.
It is the latest in a long line of attempts by police to make people aware of the prevalence of thefts from motor vehicles in this police service area.
Police have made exhaustive pleas to the public about securing valuables and locking their cars all year but they appear to have fallen on deaf ears with thefts from motor vehicles continuing to occur in 2013.
Police in Ararat are receiving on average two reports a week of thefts from motor vehicles.
"People need to be aware we have recidivist offenders operating here in Ararat, not just in one area, but across all parts of town," Ararat Police Sergeant, Shane Allgood said.
"If you leave your car unlocked or valuable personal property inside which is visible to opportunists you face the very high likelihood your car will be targeted."
Sgt Allgood said the perception that leaving your car unlocked in your driveway made it safer was incorrect.
He said a car parked in Barkly Street was just as vulnerable as one parked in a supermarket car park or in residents own drive ways and that no one under any circumstances should be leaving their car unlocked.
"We have just as many people reporting thefts from motor vehicles parked in driveways as we do in the street," he said.
Sgt Allgood said it was important people realised that it was in fact an offence for drivers or owners of motor vehicles to leave them unattended unlocked in the first place.
He said people face fines of $144 for leaving a motor vehicle unattended with keys in the ignition, motor running, breaks not secured or doors unlocked.