The Australian capital has long been considered a “safe” place to rent a car, but there are serious concerns about the city’s rental market.
Police are investigating two incidents of theft that occurred in Perth last week.
The first occurred in an empty carpark on St Andrew’s Square in the CBD on Sunday, January 14, just before 7:00pm.
Police say two men tried to break into a rental car and steal the keys from inside, but were stopped by a security guard who shot the thieves dead.
Two weeks later, another theft occurred on St Stephen’s Square, at the corner of Archibald Street and George Street, on January 17.
They claim the two men broke into the vehicle and took away a silver Ford Fusion.
There was also a theft on January 20 at the junction of Queen Street and Martin Place, near the corner at which a carpark is now being redeveloped.
“The victims have all been contacted and police are investigating these incidents in the interest of public safety,” police said in a statement.
Renters should expect to face increased risk of theft in the city over the next few months, with police warning the crime wave will continue until “the entire CBD and surrounding areas are safe”.
“There are a number of major thefts in the area that are likely to occur over the course of the year,” the statement said.
Read more: Perth taxi driver arrested over theft of rental carIt comes as police are considering the possibility of using a stolen vehicle as a weapon, as they continue to investigate three other stolen carjackings.
A stolen car has been recovered at a shopping centre in the town of Parnell, and police say there are concerns it could be used to assault a driver.
Parnell is one of the areas where crime and a lack of resources is posing a major threat to the city.
One of the incidents on St Andrews Square occurred in early January, when a driver who was attempting to steal a car broke into a parked vehicle, stole a white Toyota Camry and drove off.
After the vehicle was found abandoned, police were alerted to a possible stolen Toyota Camrys at another shopping centre near the scene.
Three other thefts have also occurred in the past week, including a car that was parked outside the Westpac store at about 6:00am on January 15, when an alleged carjacker took off with a man inside the vehicle.
He also stole a car and a woman’s purse at the same time.
Anyone with information about these crimes is asked to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.
More to come.