By Cillian Doyle.
A new Garda initiative is aiming to cut down on theft at beaches and scenic locations around the South East.
'Park Smart' aims to remind the public to choose their parking spaces carefully when heading to the beach or to scenic areas in the summer, where the highest amount of car theft takes place.
Just over €36m was stolen from cars between 2016 and 2020, from cash to jewelry to electronic goods.
While 60% of car thefts happen in the summer at scenic locations or in unattended beach car parks.
Speaking to Beat News, Crime Prevention Officer Ber Leech says even a simple action can make a big difference.
"You need to pull the handle on the car of the door and make sure it's locked because Gardaí have gone to many of incidents where people say 'I have locked my car' - but sometimes with our keys, we hear the mechanical click and wee see the lights flashing but sometimes you could be pressing the unlock button accidentally."
"So you lock your car and put your hand on the handle to make sure that it's locked."