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Car Theft In Australia

Most of us own or have a vehicle or two these days and most of us are pretty vigilant when it comes to making sure it’s locked up once we’ve walked away from it. In Australia alone, over 30% of Australian’s have had either their car stolen or belongings inside stolen.

Recent data collection shows that, in Australia a passenger / light commercial vehicle is stolen every 11 minutes, with Queensland having the highest amount of vehicles stolen, with nearly 11,000 cases in 2021.

According to data from NMVTRC the Holden VE Commodore was the most targeted vehicle, followed by the Toyota Hilux. Other most commonly stolen or targeted vehicles were the Toyota Land-cruiser, Ford Ranger, Ford Falcon, Mazda BT50, Subaru Impreza, Hyundai i30 and the Volkswagon Golf.


Since the advancement in car security technology, which was introduced in the 1990’s, “hot wiring” modern vehicles is a thing of the past. Most commonly, the only method for car theft these days is for the thief to have stolen the owners keys, this could be through stolen handbags, garage doors being left open, keys left on the driveway or the thief breaking into a persons home to take an unprotected set of keys.

In Western Australia alone car theft without the key was at 34.4%, while 50.0% were with keys that had been stolen from the home, 12.2% was through the vehicle being high jacked and 3.3% were the keys having been found in a public place.

Even with all the technology and ease to lock vehicles using car key remotes, people still leave their vehicles unlocked, in driveways or car parks and while the car might not have been stolen, the belongings inside of the car were. The data showed that men were more likely, than women to have had some belongings stolen from their cars. The data also indicated that people believed their car door locks were picked, for the thief to gain entry to it, but unless they have great skill, the tension tools to do it or the theft is a rogue locksmith, then it’s highly unlikely that the door lock was picked.

Just recently, we had a couple of thieves roaming around our neighbourhood. The Security footage showed the pair walking north, with back packs on, trying the door handles of every vehicle that was parked on the road or in driveways. They didn’t get away with anything from us, but they were just looking for an opportunity to grab something that didn’t belong to them through an unlocked door. The security sensor light went off as one of them tried to open one of the back car doors and they quickly scurried away as soon as that light was shining down on his bright orange hi-vis shirt!

Remember, if you’re the victim of a car theft or its contents, make a report at your local Police Station.  Stay vigilant and keep those keys safe and the doors locked, to reduce the risk of becoming a victim of theft.

Here are some handy tips to help you keep your vehicles and it’s belonging safe from theft:

1. Don’t leave your car keys in obvious or easily accessible places, such as on counter tops, tables, or key racks near doors and windows where they can be seen from outside.

2. When you’re out in public or at work, keep your keys with you rather than leaving them unattended on a desk or in an open bag. This reduces the chances of someone taking them without your knowledge. Including garage door remotes!

3. If you have a home security system, consider keeping your keys in a secure location such as a locked drawer, safe or cabinet, especially when you’re away for an extended period.

4. If you have spare keys, make sure to keep them in a secure location, preferably separate from your primary keys. Avoid leaving spare keys inside your car or in easily accessible areas around your home.

5. Lock your car when you’re leaving it unattended.

6. Take all valuable items out of the vehicle, if you have to park your vehicle outside. Don’t leave bags, tools, devices including laptops, iPads or phones, purses or wallets, coins and other money in your vehicle.

7. Have security sensor lights, which can come on if someone steps on the property. Light is usually a big deterrent to a thief.

Credit: Budget Direct Insurance, NMVTRC, Canva Images